Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 9 other people, obsessing over his hair, and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.
Is there anything more enjoyable as a patch approaches than ogling all the new gear set to drop in the next raid tier? When the most addicting psychological hook in this game is the steady increase of character power, nothing can be more intoxicating than the promise of new heights and plateaus of character strength and durability. Breathe deeply my friends -- that is the smell of loot, ripe for the picking.
Come patch 5.4, a whole new array of armor, trinkets, weapons, and shields will be preparing to find their way into your bags and the very first time you set foot within the new raid you'll want to be prepared with an idea of where the best loot will be dropping for you. Whether it's from that gaping hole in the Vale, behind the walls of Orgrimmar, or from the smoking corpse of Ordos, there's plenty of excellent new gear to choose from.
In this post I'm going to first talk briefly about what gearing priorities will look in patch 5.4 and how you will need to cope with inevitably reaching the 50% haste breakpoint, then I'll break down all the new tanking gear in 5.4 by slot. And, thanks to our love of various DPS stats, that definition of what can be tanking gear (for good or ill) casts a very wide net.