I've been farming emblems in Heroics with my Retribution Palla for a while now and have some reasonable DPS gear (5.4K GS). I was at the point where Emblems of Triumph could not really improve my DPS gear so started thinking more seriously about Tanking. There seems to be such a shortage of tanks. When I "look for group" and select just DPS, I need to queue for 12 to 20 minutes on my server. When I include tank as an option in LFG (you know, just testing....), I almost instantly get into a
heroic (at which point I leave the queue). The idea is to save my Emblems of Frost for DPS/Ret gear, and use my Emblems of Triumph to get my Tank/Prot gear up.
So, I've got my def cap to uncrittable (552, a bit too high) and have 32.5K HP unbuffed and 24K Armor.
Am I ready for Heroics? Am I being far too cautious? Should I just stop being such a p*ssy and get in there!?
First things first - there is no such thing as "too much" defense. Beyond 540 it is still a very useful stat - nothing to enchant or gem for in large quantities, not an ideal stat, but still pretty useful for avoidance.
Second - if you don't know what the 96969 rotation is, google it. 96969 is the max threat rotation for a Paladin tank.
Yes, you are being way too cautious. 32k unbuffed is plenty to tank ToC 10, nevermind silly 5-man heroics. Some stuff to change though:
Switch to a cookie-cutter 53/18 spec. There are several reasons for this spec - Crusade is significantly better than Seals of the Pure as a threat talent, you only need 1 point in Spiritual Attunement to keep your mana bar full, subbing into the ret tree allows you to pick up Seal of Command (a.k.a. Seal of Cleave a.k.a. "Holy crap my AoE threat is INSANE"), and Divinity is a very weak talent overall. 5 talent points for 5% incoming heals (much of which will be overheals anyways)? No thank you.
Note the glyphs. The SoV glyph is the best threat glyph you can get, bar none. I went with the HotR glyph for your starter spec to help with tanking heroics - later on you may find yourself switching to Judgement, Righteous Defense, or Salvation. All personal preference.
Your gear is nice, you still have a few upgrades to get with Triumphs but that's fine. Get the ring next, followed by the non-tier helm and then the armor trinket. (If you have the time, go farm the Black Heart from reg ToC 5 to replace your Greatness card - well, I use DMC:G to tank heroics too just because they're so easy, but for harder content you will want the stam and armor)
So yeah, make a few changes, and get out there and tank!
Your gear is plenty good enough for 5 man heroics. The above poster had a lot of good suggestions and the only thing I would add is possibly replacing some defense for more stam. There isn't anything wrong with more than 540 defense but I would favor stam first. It's not really necessary but you should probably pick up the Lay on Hands minor glyph also. It's a great glyph to have and there's nothing else worth taking to fill your empty 3rd slot.
The Gears more than enough for HCs, need to get a few new glyphs/re-spec, as harmacy 0/53/18 is a great spec, http://www.wowhead.com/talent#sZV0tA...dtsMzbh:GpNmcz is what i would recommend, with Glyph of SoV, Glyph of divine plea and Glyph of judgement(single target) or glyph of hammer of the righteous(multi-target) for majors and glyph of sense undead, glyph of lay on hands and glyph of blessing of kings as minors.
As for gems id recommend changing a few of them, only aim for gem bonuses if they give u +9 stamina or more. never gem for hit as well, its not worth it, if your gonna put a gem in a yellow slot make sure its 10 defense 15 stamina, put 30 stamina gems in any slot that isn't going to give a +9stamina bonus or more.
Enchants: (most of these are personal preference ill keep possibility's open)replace boot enchant with 22 stam as the run speed in the ret tree is superior to the boot run speed and they dont stack, shoulder enchant either keep the one your using or go get the 30 stamina 15 resilience enchant, also with chest, u could have either +10 stats or +275 health, shield enchant you can either have 20 defense, titanium plating or 18 stamina, there are 3 viable weapon enchants, blade ward, blood draining or mongoose, for a paladin i think mongoose and blood draining are superior to blade ward, hand enchants either 2% threat + 10 parry or 18 stam both are good. Most of your gear is good, most of the enchants i just left possibility's and not mandatory changes, i dont like darkmoon card greatness for tankin, it gives some nice block + threat but change it when u can.
yea being alot to to conservative with your starting to tank heroics. I started with my warrior at 538 def, and 20khp. and since you have obviously done the herocis to death knowing all the fights you should be ready to rock and roll.