Panda Hunters

Posted: by Frostheim

I’ve been trying to decide where I stand on panda hunters. On the one hand, they’re adorable, cuddly, have an eastern theme (of which I’m a big fan) and have a ridiculously sweet somersault move to help them zip around the landscape. On the other hand, they are demonstrably not dwarves, and that’s a tough handicap to overcome. But they do love them some brew, which makes them close to dwarves in spirit.

The panda racials are:

  • Epicurean: Your love of food allows you to receive double the stats from Well Fed effects
  • Gourmond: Cooking skill increased by 15.
  • Inner Peace: Your rested experience bonus lasts twice as long.
  • Bouncy: You take 50% less falling damage.
  • Quaking Palm: Strikes the target with lightning speed, incapacitating them for 4 seconds.

These are the abilities listed on the Blizzard site — I haven’t actually played a panda since Blizzcon, choosing to spend my beta time as a dwarf (until the level 90 premades are available, then I’ll probably be an elf, because my dedication to leveling is non-existent in the beta). The above racial list notably doesn’t mention the sweet somersault, but I can’t imagine they’d put the work in on an animation that sweet and not use it. Wowhead has a more recent list, but they have various monk abilities mixed in with the racials.

The only real raiding racial the pandas have is doubling the effect of well-fed food. It’s not great (and doesn’t scale with gear), but if racials were all that mattered I’d be worgen anyway (not having the heart to turn to the dirty, disgusting, smelly, slave races of the horde). Though I suppose the sweet somersault move might qualify as it helps you zip around — and I really, really want to try to disengage midway through a somersault, or vice versa. That would be sweet: disengage, spin around 180 degrees, and somersault from the peak of the disengage (perhaps all the while with parachute cloak up?)

So the question is: are the pandaren worth embracing and championing, or should they be relegated with the dregs of hunter society along with elves? (Important note: the saddest, most pathetic and worthless elf hunter is still worth more than the best of any support class, of course).

Update: apparently the sweet-ass somersault is a monk thing, not a panda thing. This makes me indescribably sad. Also, I’m predicting that because I put this update notice on the bottom, several other people will not read all the way down and leave comments letting me know that somersault is for monks, making me feel worse and worse every time I see the comment again, mourning the loss of sweet somersault disengage action, and thus driving me to despise pandas.

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  1. Talyn says:

    Hey Frostie,
    Unfortunately the somersault is a monk skill and not (I think) a panda racial :( It would be an awesome fun toy though!

  2. Neilaren says:

    As a blood elf, I try my very best to smell much nicer than some of the other, uh, not-as-pleasant smelling members or my faction.

    Although, I AM a hunter. I guess I try to use animal musks so my beastly compatriots aren’t too annoyed with me. It’s still a nicer smell than undeath! :)

  3. tee says:

    Am I the only one who thinks epicurean is a very powerful racial? Double AGILITY, vs 1pct crit, 1pct expertise, dmg procs (undead).

    How much agi are the raiding food buffs, 180? Unless there’s a shift in stat priorities you would think that extra primary stat is better than additional secondary stats, dpending on actual numbers ofc.

    Also a stun (nice) and reduced fall dmg (meh) vs sprint,troll racial (mini rapid fire) or orc racial (ap). It’s going to be interesting to see which racial is best in mop.

    • Frostheim says:

      We’ll have to wait to see how stats and food buffs end up at 90. Right now the +90 agil is better than 1% crit; however, I’d rather have the 1% crit and speed buff (which is huge in practice, if not in theorycraft) than the panda assortment.

  4. Rugasa says:

    I tried a panda hunter but it just felt wrong. They are far too fluffy and cute to be a gun totting dealer of death. So I made a rogue instead which somehow seemed to be the perfect fit. The dual-wielding animations are pretty sweet but the main joy was the idea of this great lumbering lummox of a panda sneaking around. It just made me giggle.

  5. Erragall says:

    Epicurean: Your love of food allows you to receive double the stats from Well Fed effects “It’s not great”
    Surely its the best racial out there for DPS? take our current +90 agi food, i believe 90 agility purely from a racial far outweighs even the 1% crit and Beserking from worgen and trolls. Most Top end raiding guilds i’m sure would take it even over the worgen sprint.
    But your comment suggests something other is happening, can you share some lit on your thoughts?

  6. Thorbartin says:

    Can’t wait to gank a Panda!!

  7. Suddenly I’m reminded of the “sexual harassment panda” from South Park….

    This is how I read what you wrote…

    “apparently the sweet-ass somersault is a monk thing, not a panda thing. This makes Frost a saaaaaaad panda”


  8. NELF says:


  9. KahliTorah says:

    I believe this is in order!

    Click it Frosty.. You know you want to. T.T

  10. Whitefyst says:

    At least for level 85 chars, the double food buff is not that great of a benefit for hunters.

    Using my character as SV as an example in Female Dwarf, going from an Orc with Blood Fury and +5% pet damage to a Tauren with no DPS useful racials is -527 DPS.

    Adding 90 agility to the Tauren is +338 DPS (the same amount as if I added 90 agi to my Orc) for a net loss of -189 DPS going from an Orc to a Pandaren, and an Orc is not as much DPS as a Troll with a Bow.

    Adding 1% crit instead is +358 DPS over a Tauren. Hence, in this example, the 1% crit is about 20 DPS better than 90 agi. Of course, results will vary depending on spec, gear, and current stat allocations.

    Using level 85 chars, here is what I see as the relative estimate of racial benefits in order (with assuming that ranged weapons have the same DPS):

    – Troll with a bow
    – Orc
    – Troll without a bow
    – Worgen
    – Dwarf with a gun
    – Pandaren
    – Goblins
    – Draenei
    – The rest (Night Elf, Blood Elf, Tauren, Dwarf without a Gun, Forsaken, Human)
    – Gnomes (0 hunter DPS)

    Thus, for Horde, Pandarens are a better option that Blood Elves, Taurens, and Forsaken, but no where close to Orcs and Trolls. They are roughly equal to Goblins.

    For the Alliance, Pandarens are about equal to Worgen and Dwarves with a gun, but much better than Night Elves. Humans, and Dwarves with a gun. They are a little better than Draenei.

    • Neilaren says:

      Come on, now, Arcane Torrent’s not on the GCD, a little free focus now and then is better than the rest of “The rest” has to offer. :(

    • tee says:

      We still don’t know how much extra damage/healing the forsaken will do. And Dwarves/Trolls now get the 1pct. expertise benefit regardless of weapon type.

  11. Erik says:

    Why the focus on food-based racials? I thought pandas were endangered because of their lack of options for food. Don’t they eat bamboo, and nothing but?

  12. Rades says:

    Remember also that Dwarves/Trolls aren’t getting 1% crit with Guns/Bows – their racial is being changed to an Expertise with Guns/Bows one.

  13. Cloudbuster says:

    The 4 second incapacitate — is that a stun or a disorient (meaning, does it break on damage)? Either way, it’s a pretty sweet PvP racial.

  14. Iridar says:

    pandas should just burn

  15. Valaruin says:

    As one of Thralls minions I heartely agree with OxHorn on the subject of Pandas:


  16. Eurinome says:

    Panda dances have a hidden buff known as [The Squee Factor]; inspires members of your raid or party to pull an extra 10% of damage out of their asses to avoid being beaten on the recount by the cutesy cute roly poly panda.
    1) /dance
    2)watch everyone else demonstrate how truly hardcore and serious they are

    It has occurred to me that the panda-haters (the foaming-at-the-mouth ones) should be at least partially grateful for the ‘Bouncy’ racial – tons of new pandas are going to be throwing themselves from great heights just to test the fall damage thing. There’s gotta be a spectator sport in that.

    Incidentally, Bounciness made it VERY easy for my panda hunter to tame Banthalos (spirit owl that flaps about way up high) – does an easier method of scoring a challenge tame make them slightly more appealing? Should they have a special affinity for pets due to shared furriness? Do they need one of those monthly flea treatments on the back of their necks?

    And re racial stink of our flippety jumping friends: What other reason could there be for those empty bottles of troll sweat we find lying about the place? (mmmm, musky)

  17. Venadin says:

    The bonus agility remember is higher since we have new food. The first level is usable at 85 and is 250 agi going up to 300 agi at 90. I am not sure how much crit we will be able to stack in the beginning given that we need expertise also. That has been a pretty steep combat rating tax.

  18. hillbillyhatfield says:

    I refuse to play two above level 11. I’ll get both factions stories, and then delete them. Ive never been a fan of the pandaland idea. It’s like every anime idea out there hads a panda race. It is waaaaay over done. However po on nick is funny.

    I have to say first hunter is dwarf, tauren second. And the rest are just lumped together is a giant mess.

  19. Omogon says:

    I am looking forward to exploring the new zones and doing some new intention of rolling a new toon..other than to do what Hillbilly said maybe. Playing a lot of Eve Online lately because my realm is absolutely deserted most of the time..There have been several times now when there has been NOBODY in trade chat or SW and flying over Origmarr all I could see was NPCs…….how sad is that :(

  20. Tenzi says:

    (not having the heart to turn to the dirty, disgusting, smelly, slave races of the horde)

    WOW, just wow, at least I know I don’t smell like disgusting old goats cheese and rancid beer……. 8-)

    And jfyi I like to punt you little allied hunters that can’ even see over thew lowest bush….. Did you know your beards are long for a reason???? 8->

    LOL, lets just keep the good words towards all hunters, and loose the racial slurs, or keep em in the Bg’s where I practice punting 8-))))))

  21. guywithgun says:

    not having the heart to turn to the dirty, disgusting, smelly, slave races of the horde

    best way ever to discribe worgen lol

  22. Gobow says:

    I have a Panda hunter at 90 now and i have been lvling cooking and we have Jade Forest Fried Rice with 100,000 health and 250 agility for 30 min. So are we to assume we get 500 agil for 30 min ?

  23. Slickrock says:

    Another thing to consider, we don’t know the value of the !% Expertise yet. If it’s readily available on gear, it might not be as beneficial as the double food buff. Take the Sea Mist Rice Noodles, that 600 Agi (2×300), which is a lot, even in Pandaclysm stats.

    Another thing is that the Panda bonuses make them by far the best class for leveling.

  24. Tienlung says:

    Discussing whether or not the food buff is better than 1% crit at 85 is a fairly useless endeavor. Nobody is going to be 85 for long once that racial is available. What we need to know is how much crit rating is needed for 1% crit at 90, and compare the stats needed for that with consideration for their stat weight to the additional main stats you’ll receive from the food buff. Also, especially in progression fights, deaths occur, so the effect of the well fed buff is mitigated by battle rezzes. And, as Frost already said, it doesn’t scale with gear. This means that the pandaren racial will be strongest at release, and even if it’s stronger than 1% crit, will slowly lose out over the course of the expansion as everyone gears up.

  25. Yaroukh says:

    being a dwarf waiting for #1 ranged weapon to be gun* (so i get to use my racial) i already hate pandas, who get their racial bonus guaranteed

    as an apology i demand the next bestestest ranged to be a frikkin GUN!!!11!!! /castsequence rage,emo,whine

    *) no, a zone drop gun with super-tiny drop rate not even at the top of the game does not count

  26. Tabana says:

    Both the Dwarf and Troll racials will work with any weapon in MoP (as they now stand). The weapon-specific crit racials are gone. The new racial for dwarves is “Crack Shot: Expertise with ranged weapons increased by 1%.” The Troll racial is identical but is called Dead Eye.

  27. wyverna says:

    I think Bliz has been watching too much kung fo panda.

  28. GungHo says:

    I thought the most important factors for the EXTREME solo hunter was the ability to outheal inc damage on your pet, and not DPS. So wouldnt the Drainai have the best racial?