Attention all tanks!! Want a chance to really shine?? Here's your big chance to really show it off!! ...or get beat into the best shape you've ever been.... This is Tank boot Camp afterall!
The Battle of Mount Hyjal is basically just a series of waves of mobs that contain a slightly different selection and number of mobs. The mobs consist of.. well.. no offense to all the undead out there but.. the ugliest groups of mobs you will encounter! Remember walking through the "Dead Scar" when leveling up your beautiful blood elf paladin or warlock or whatever it was you wanted to make so you could see how attractive the new race was? ..and suddenly you enter combat.. and turn around to face the ugliest lumbering pale sickly green malformation you've ever seen coming right at you?... Um, Yeah... the Abomination. Our raid leader likes to call them A-Bombs. There are also: Ghouls, Gargoyles, Crypt Fiends, and some Infernals and Fel Stalkers.. There are about 8 different waves immediately followed by the appearance of a boss.
Anyways.. This is where usually there are 3-4 tanks make a group effort to pick up all of the mobs that come in a big mass... Fun... So we run in there!!! Head first!!! WHEEEE!! Oh well right after the little whimpy knights run in first to avoid our own insta-death... and then claws and teeth and tentacles and decayed limbs all collide in battle.. It becomes a squirming mass of sparkling Orcish warriors and Taurens in their glowing armor swinging blood dripping huge swords... I can just imagine their battleshouts... in the middle of the fray screaming at the top of their deep lungs like He-Man or something.. Oh and of course.. the little Feral druid bear bouncing around gnawing creepy undead creatures away from the knights and the other party members and dragging them back to the mass. After our fearless leader Sirloin decides we have had sufficient time to get good agro on them, the AOE starts, and now the mass of battling bodies becomes a swirl of storms and explosions of purple and blue and white until we are left standing in a pile of dead and rotting bodies.. and then the next wave is about to begin..
This is great practice for us tanking folks because we have to keep an eye on any stragglers and pick them up, and also continue to apply sufficient agro to the targets we already have.. Some targets are stolen back and forth, and other targets are kited away at the very beginning by the hunters and then brought back to the pile. Of course, this is where the protection paladin will be most masterful. Some have even said that it is CAKE for them. So... this type of battle simply forces the tanks and actually indeed the WHOLE raid to watch numerous targets and keep them under control. Sometimes a hunter will notice one out of the mass and misdirect it back, sometimes a dps shaman will notice one and pull it back. It's a group effort from the whole raid, but the tanks must be the best at it, and this is the best place to practice your multiple target control skills.
There is one other thing to note here.. These are all elite mobs. Comparing elite mobs is like comparing a teddy bear with a polar bear. They both look soft and furry and bearlike, but the moment you claw it, the teddy bear will rip in half, while the polar bear will get a minor scratch then turn around and claw you back if it even bothers to notice you at all... For these waves of mobs, I usually wear my Hit/Expertise gear, and I throw on a shadow resist cape and neck piece for the Banshees and Necromancer waves. The preparation for each different wave, and each different boss at the end is also important. So .. after working through each boss of The Battle of Hyjal, the raid has graduated to a new level of "Cool". Now... when the hunter sneaks up and pulls a hard to pull mob and accidentally gets two of them... or a happy-go-lucky warlock inches forward with the stealthed druids and rogues forgetting that he's visible and they aren't and face pulls... well... then tanks are all ready to JUMP right in and pick up all 10 elites and get them under control really fast with few to zero deaths. Everyone else just jumps right in and does their control large mob skills along with them, and the raid is left with a satisfied feeling knowing they learned it all from Tanking Boot Camp....