The Care and Feeding of Warriors comes to you this week to discuss preparing to tank a new boss for the first time. Matthew Rossi has ended up dead under the feet of some jerk with a fancy name enough times to know that you need to be sure you're ready before you step into the instance. Learn from his boneheadedness.
One of the drawbacks of playing a tanking warrior (or any tank, really, but I'm not writing the druid or paladin columns, after all) is needing to have a certain threshold of gear in order to do the job. You might well know how to hold aggro exceedingly well, but if you don't have the armor, defense, mitigation stats and health to stand up to the pounding then you'll die and dead warriors are insanely bad at hold aggro.
No, not undead, just plain dead. Undead warriors are no worse at holding aggro than anyone else. (Sorry for the mix-up, Vish, you know I know you're awesome.) Being that holding aggro is thereby a function of not only generating threat but surviving as you do so, there are thresholds below which you won't survive tanking a boss encounter. If a boss can possibly unleash 12k damage (I'm looking right at you, phase 2 Prince) then you'd need, at a minimum, something like 16k health to tank him, buffed. I'd prefer more. (The MT on our Prince kills has about 17k buffed.) This level of health is necessary to provide room for your healers to get those heals off after a huge damage spike.