I am making this guide as I have seen a lot of "tanks" and most of them have no idea what they are doing. I am also aware that most tanks will not be on these forums, but it's worth a shot and can give a reference for others in case they would like to improve.
First off I’m not saying I’m a pro tank but I am very knowledgeable in tanking (I’ve been tanking ever since BC on retail and constantly read up on tanking to be better). My prot pally, Icyyes, currently has 5.4k gs, 41k hp and can pull 3k dps in heroics, about 6-7k in raids.
TABLE OF CONTENT 1. Knowledge/stats 2. Gear 3. Gems 4. Talents
Knowledge/stats I decided to put stats here also since it would be a bit easier and hopefully flow a little better. To be a tank you need 3 things. The first is Defense!!!! How much you ask? For heroics you need 535 so you’re not crit in your face and fall down crying like a little baby. For raids you need 540 defense so your entire raid does fall down and cry like babies and it’s your fault. (Druid tanks have a talent that gives them all of this already.)
These are the stats! Not the rating. It takes 4.918498039 defense rating to equal +1 defense skill so it will take about 689 rating to go from our passive 400 defense to our goal of 540 defense.
The second stat we need as a tank after we’ve gathered enough defense is STAMINA!!!! This gives us more HP which allows us to take more hits. Think of it as a buffer between doing really well and being really dead! All tanks have some talent or ability to improve this. Blessing of Kings, Frost Presence, and other spells gives you % to the stamina you have.
Mitigation vs. stamina is one of the most talked about issues. Each tank can go their own way but I believe stamina is better because as you stack parry/dodge rating you get diminishing returns. The more you stack the less you get later on, with stamina this doesn't happen.
The last stat you need is Threat. Threat is what keeps the mobs attacking you. Think of it has you’re the meat shield so you need to get the mobs attention. The best way to do this is piss in his cereal! Okay so you can’t actually piss in his food but you can keep his attention with threat.
The way you do this is by your DPS. All tanks in WotLK have modified threat so each attack causes more threat: Paladin’s Righteous fury Warriors Defense stance Druids Bear form Death Knights Frost Presence
These threat modifiers only go so far though. From what I have found the best way to go is when you get over the 540 defense you get a DPS weapon. I know what you may be thinking “You’re stupid man DPS weapons are for the DPS,” which is right but with a DPS weapon (pallies and warriors) it would need to be a 1h dps weapon. They increase how much you hit for which also increases your dps and tps (Threat per second) For Death Knights and druids they can easily use 2h weapons to tank and somewhat preferred.
Gear As a tank all your gear is going to want defense with this you may also get stats like expertise, hit rating, and dodge/parry. As a tank you want all tank gear until you get defense capped then if you’re having issues with threat you can replace some items with spare dps items as long as you stay above the defense cap. Druids again have it easy as they have a talent that gives them defense capped in bear form and also 25% more stamina.
Gems Gems you’re going to want stamina unless you are activating your meta which should be something like 32 stamina 2% armor rating. After meta activation everything you get should involve stamina. Again it takes a lot of rating to start seeing a difference with dodge/parry plus if you’re avoiding a lot of hits and take a string of hits your healers won't be paying attention and you could die.
Talents I’m just going to post some yahoo pictures of what your talents should look like. These will be of more likely raiding specs and can be changed just a bit but not much.
Paladin: http://images.search.yahoo.com/images/v ... pHirvtsQS4 This you can take the 3 points from crusade? (I think) and the 2 from Vindication, and put 5 points into Seal of the pure since on bosses it’s recommended that you use seal of corruption/vengeance. You use seal of command on trash mobs seal of corruption/vengeance on boss fights. USING SEAL OF WISDOM OR LIGHT IS STUPID!!!! the only time you use one of these is when your healer dies and you use seal of light with judgment of light to keep yourself alive.
Warriors: http://images.search.yahoo.com/images/v ... pHirvtsQS4 Can’t really comment on this as I’ve never played one but looks solid and gives a basic idea to how to talent.
Druid: http://images.search.yahoo.com/images/v ... pHirvtsQS4 If you don’t understand any of these…. Just follow the pictures… easy enough.
DK: http://images.search.yahoo.com/images/v ... pHirvtsQS4 I just did frost since I didn't feel like finding a blood spec and it’s more difficult to tank as blood (aoe tank)
Again this is all for beginners to help the server get rid of tanks that think they can do it as soon as they hit 80 with no donation gear/ in greens. Also I know most of them are not going to see it but can be pointed here by others that see this. This is my first guide and I know It's quite horrible but someone has to try =/