After studying guides (such as my own feral talent guide (yes, shameless advertising, but I'm allowed!)) and messing around with various specs on sites such as WoWHead, you place your points, buy all of those new talented spells, and get on the road.After a while, you get asked to tank.
Then, it hits you. You don't know how. Don't panic! It's not as hard as it may seem.
If you find that you’re having threat/aggro issues, and for basic learning, I’d start off in caster, Starfire (or Moonfire) pull, switch to bear, and wait around for that rather unhappy mob to come and get you. This way (for the beginning tank), you can afford to not worry as much about aggro while you are still familiarizing yourself with your rotation.
Start off with a mangle, lacerate a few times, and then mangle whenever the cooldown is up. I, personally, like to spam maul in between my lacerates (especially after I’ve gotten a stack of five, and am only really doing it to keep the stack up) and mangles — generates more DPS, and, through it, threat. If you have a cooldown to spare, toss faerie fire feral up there too for good mix (and, if you are multitanking, demoralizing roar (could do it on a solo mob, but I find that extra ten rage better suited toward killing the mob faster)).
If you don’t need extra threat and/or are more than comfortable with tanking now, or have a huge rage bar left over from the previous fight and therefore, don’t want to shift out, I normally hit enrage, wait until the effect is almost over, and pull through faerie fire feral. Feral charge is another good way to start if it’s a safe place to engage where your mob stands and then do that rotation. My only issue with feral charge starting is that I like to use that as a backup if something goes wrong (I’m multitanking and my other mob gets hit a little too hard, a CC broke loose and has a craving for someone squishy, someone aggroed extra mobs) and I can charge them and get aggro on them again (hopefully, at any rate, with a mangle, and, if necessary (or mangle's down), with a growl) before they do damage where they shouldn’t. If you start with a charge, there’s a good chance that your cooldown might not be up yet, and you are stuck running to the mob. (Which takes forever.)
For tanking two, I've seen it done both ways. A bear tank friend of mine likes to pull the second kill with a cyclone, go bear, mangle and lacerate the first kill before the second gets there, mangle/lacerate the second kill for a bit more aggro, and occasionally tosses a swipe to keep aggro on the second while they finish up the first, then turn her full attention toward the second. I, personally, like a bit more aggro on it and, therefore, start off with a starfire on that one, and a moonfire on my main tank target (so the DPS can start on it without too much trouble almost right away) and then go bear and do what I mentioned previously. (Three targets is about the same, just that you starfire the third target, moonfire the second, and mangle the first, then swipe-fest (and demo-roar) your way through, with mangle chucked in there as well.)I have a focus macro for dual tanking, which I'll have to snag and show the next time I hop in game.
There's also the Hurricane pull for three and more mobs, which I will (really, this time. I have it started and partway done!) go into great detail about next time. (And will edit with a link to it when it is up.)
Edit: The Hurricane Pull. Oh, lookie! Lin *finally* finished it!
Just keep a sharp note of your surroundings, and hit those few buttons, and you’re good to go. Tanking’s cake.
[ Post inspired by Softi of Softthistle's Spot / A Little WoW for Me, where the beginnings of my post may be found. ]