Kelvin Gear Discussion

Figured I’d get some conversation started on people’s thoughts for Kelvin specific gear loadouts.

What kind of features do you guys usually look for in gear for Kelvin?

Currently I have a very nice Epic with +35.7 Shield regen and + %3.75 Skill damage that I’ve been using, as the extra 300 damage I can soak going into a fight by having a shield up is invaluable.

In the beta I also liked loading up on Health Bonus gear as it reduces the amount of time I spend chowing on mobs before I’m bulky enough to sustain engagements at the front line, but unfortunately I haven’t been finding any gear that I like for that. Right now I have some pretty generic attack speed/attack damage stuff in there instead. I should probably have my eye out for any skill cooldown stuff that looks good, currently all I have is the Firmware Update which is a Legendary and thus prohibitively expensive for the benefits.

I didn’t think shield gear effected us Elds at all?

But with that question being asked the current build I am using is a plus health and plus healing, plus skill dmg and health but minus shield and lastly a builder with plus skill power and plus healing on all stations I create

It was stated by gearbox devs that +max shield will apply to the permafrost shield making it a bit longer lasting and stronger overall, I kind of recall +shield regen doing something as well but I can’t recall the details. Someone else might know better.

Shield Regen gear works on Eldrid characters.

The reason Eldrid characters have no shields is because they all have a natural negative shield regen. You see this in action on Kelvin when he gains his permafrost shields.

Activating shield regen gear on an Eldrid character, if the shield regen is sufficient, will end with a net positive shield regen, giving them a regenerating shield like any other character. Kelvin’s base max shields are 300, and this is what he can regen up to after activating any shield regen gear. Similarly, max shield bonus gear works fine on them, and in the case of Kelvin the percentage bonus from his helix that improve the permafrost shield are actually based off his base shield value and not the 60 shields he gains from permafrost.

I think it’s 20%, so with that upgrade, Kelvin’s permafrost adds 120 shields every time he uses a skill, because it’s 60 + 20% of 300 (60). Improving his max shields with gear will thus improve the permafrost bonus when he takes this upgrade. He also has a helix upgrade that specifically targets the Permafrost off Sublimate and improves it by 50%, but I don’t know how the math on that works out.

The other important thing about raising Kelvin’s shield max is his level 4 Mutation - Shield Snacker. This gives Kelvin 30% of the damage he deals with Chomp back as shields, which is obviously in addition to the normal permafrost shields, so depending on damage dealt and your current shield max, you could be getting 200+ shields with Chomp. The higher your shield max, the more you get out of this, as you may be hitting your shield max of 300 with every other Chomp and basically letting around 100 shields go to waste.

*Edit 8/1/2016 - So months down the line I’m still getting a random like on these posts every so often, which is a bit embarrassing because they’ve got a lot of misinformation while I was sorting out how Permafrost works. Please ignore the bit about all Eldrid characters having a shield, they don’t, so they usually require a +max shield gear and a +shield regen gear to gain a shield. Kelvin is the sole exception. My very next post also corrects some misconceptions I had about Permafrost’s formula, so please read that too!


A lot of good information in your post. A whole bunch I would of not known with out asking. Looks like I need to redo the build I have for Kel

I think the one thing I haven’t thought to check on with the whole +max shields thing is this:

Whether Permafrost actually is based on the hard number that they’ve told us in the passive description (60), or if that number comes about from a percentage of his max shields (which would be 20% as well). I know in the beta Permafrost only granted 55 shields, which is why I assumed it was the former as 18% is kind of a weird number to rest on, but now I also recall that at the start of the beta, Kelvin’s max shields were lower and that part of the buff he received was raising them (which in turn buffed permafrost). If that’s the case it means his max shields were 275 (20% of which is 55) which is a much nicer number I would expect them to have used.

So, I think I would have to activate a +shield max gear on Kelvin without the +20% permafrost helix bonus and see how it affects permafrost shields. If it increases then that means permafrost itself is based on a percentage after all and Gearbox was just hiding that number and giving the hard number of 60 for the ease of the player’s understanding (since they can’t normally see Kelvin’s shield max, so saying he gets 20% of his max shields would not be helpful information).


Ok, so experiment done. I did note I was remember some numbers wrong, but here we are. All of this was checked in Story mode.

Kelvin currently gains 100 shields from Permafrost at base level. His passive description claims he only gets 80 (which is where my first mistake was), not sure what the deal with that is. His base shield max is indeed 300.

So, I activated a piece of gear that added 126 shield max, and checked again. He was getting 165 shields from Permafrost. So yes, Permafrost is actually based off a percentage of Kelvin’s max shields. Thing is those two numbers are not consistent - base level he was getting 33% of his shields back, after the gear activate he was getting 38% I don’t know what the missing element here is.

The other thing that was odd, which I had noticed before but forgotten about when I made my first post, is this: Kelvin’s natural shield decay, and the shield regen granted by the active gear, don’t work together the way I thought they did. Kelvin will regenerate shields when not under fire, but say he’s just throwing out Chomp to get the shields from Permafrost thinking it will boost him up to max shields quickly: the shields granted from Permafrost will decay at the normal rate, until it meets where Kelvin’s shields have reached from the shield regen.

Anyways, end result is that we can get some pretty nice results off of +Shield Max Gear and Chomp/Shield Snacker. If I find a piece that gives me roughly +200 I’d be quite happy - that’ll be ~350 shields per Chomp!

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So… Does that mean shield Regen is kind of worthless but Max shield is good? Thus anything -max shields would be awful if we are going tanky

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Not at all, it gives him something he wouldn’t normally have, which is an extra 300 damage to take when he’s first heading into battle.

He still regenerates shields, he just doesn’t get to keep the shields Permafrost gives him. I’m sure I’m just doing a bad job of explaining it.

Say you’ve got 300 shields, and your shields start regenerating. They climb up to 50, and then you use Chomp and it gives you another 100. You’re at 150 now, but it starts ticking down like it usually does, and let’s just say they happen to meet in the middle at 100. You now have 100 shields and they are continuing to regenerate up until you reach your full 300 (or get hit).

But yes, I would say any kind of -max shields gear is a bad idea for Kelvin, Permafrost shield is what keeps us sustainable as health regen isn’t fast enough for the middle of combat when we’re such a big target.

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Some great info on Kelvin @Master_Oddjob. Do you happen to know the minimum amount of shield regen needed to start regenerating?

Haven’t had the chance to test that yet - not very many white shield recharge drops so far and I’m not about to go and spend credits on the cheap loot packs to try and find them.

Used a +34 shield regen item last night and it didn’t stop the decay.

Meaning you had it active and sat around and never started regening a shield?

Or it didn’t stop the permafrost shields from disappearing? Because like I said that will always happen.

If the former, good data to have. Looks like the gear I’m using just barely does the trick, which is a shame as I was hoping to cut back on my loadout’s cost by finding something with less regen.

First one unfortunately.

Anyone who’s interested in Kelvin gear loadouts that give him a shield, keep an eye out - there is a chance at getting a white shield regen gear with ~400 activation cost, with 40.2 shield regen per second (no negative modifiers, no other effects). 400 shards is easily obtainable even right at the start of the match, I shouldn’t have to tell you how useful that is.

So far it’s the best shield regen gear I’ve found for what we want, only thing that would be better is Janked gear with a negative on something we don’t care about.

Fun fact, Kleese’s energy rifts will give Kelvin shielding even with negative shield recharge. It will decay obviously without shield recharge gear but this appears to be unique to him as other Eldrid do not gain shielding this way.

Would you suggest stacking shield capacity or increased health and what gear Loudoun would you recommend.

I am not sure if I would stack multiple shield capacity items or not, but I’m of the mindset that diversity is always good.

The way I currently see it, since Kelvin is big target and doesn’t have a secondary shield function like ISIC, Galilea, or Boldur, and passive health regeneration is difficult to make viable over shields for a character like that (unlike the non-tank Eldrid characters, who are smaller, faster targets that can slip away and heal up) - his most important ability is the permafrost shields he gets from Chomp.

So, shield capacity in my eyes is a must. Skill cooldown gear sounds good on paper but the skill we want to be using more and more (Chomp) already has such a short cooldown that no cooldown gear I’ve seen so far would affect it in any significant way, so that can probably be left out. Increased health gear, it’s not a bad thing but it seems too obvious to me. I don’t use it much anymore, I usually take the tier 1 mutation for the extra 360 and then leave the rest to Chomp gains.

The shield regen stuff, I wouldn’t mind seeing how other people do without it. I like it because I hate having to take the pressure off to go and teleport back to base, having that shield ready to go after a moment or too lets me run back in to cause more chaos when I think it’s still necessary. I definitely like it a lot more now that I have a much cheaper gear to enable it.

I think health regen gear is a waste. I think Kelvin’s survivabiltiy revolves around permafrost from Chomp more than it does from stacking a bunch of HP regen. Maybe if I saw stats on how much health I regenerate in the average match I would change my mind. Maybe if I found a piece with really good health regenerate instead of this 6-7 hps I’d be interested.

As with any melee character, attack speed is always nice to have. If you feel like you have a good balance on your other two items, I’d look for something like this. I happen to have an excellent one that seems custom made for Kelvin.

For those that are curious, my current loadout:

Destroyer’s Internal Capacitor (915 shards): +139 Maximum Shield Strength, +97 Maximum Shield Strength for 10 seconds after killing a minion or minor enemy (This is probably my least favorite piece, I am convinced I can find a better shield capacity item. That said the minion kill buff is well suited to Kelvin, I can smash one minion and chomp another for the maximum benefit)

HoldFast Recharger (401 shards): +40.20 Shield Recharge per Second (What a find this was, I don’t think I’ll drop this at any point unless I am convinced otherwise about the whole health regen thing)

Aristocrat’s Ostentatious Saber (832 shards): +8.82% Attack Speed, +5.04 Attack Speed for 5 seconds after taking shield damage (Also a really nice find, seems custom made for Kelvin as it effectively means he gets +13.86% attack speed after every Chomp)


Interesting gear, I could never work with those costs personally outside of maybe incursion and story mode. As for health regen, I personally look at it as an extension of damage reduction since damage reduction itself seems difficult to stack. Max health will let you survive a battle longer than regen but only if you are at that full health for every engagement, regen has the benefit of being a constant source of damage regeneration albeit at a fairly small amount considering some battleborn’s damage output. The fact that it can get you back to full health after a fight is just a bonus in my eyes.

Not really anything specific to Kelvin, just my own thoughts for using health regen gear.

Yea I am still looking for more cost efficient stuff. Most matches I never get around to activating the attack speed gear unless we are already crushing.

Wow. The knowledge that Kelvin can actually get some recharger permanent shield is invaluable. My only concern is whether or not this is intended. I believe Eldred characters were never intended to have a permanent shield which makes me wonder whether or not this is simply a bug, or if it was intended.
If it is a bug we will likely see it patched in the futurend. I’m hoping that some moderator will be able to clear this up for us.

Anyway, my load out for Kelvin actually works on health regen.(funny seeing how you hate it) xD
Anyway given Eldrid’s have their unique passive health regen, I thought this wold be a fun stat to incorporate.
I’m away from my xbox so I can’t give exact numbers but I’ll get something close enough.
First is a flawed item so I can activate it at the start of the match. It’s grants 12(ish) shield penetration but In-turn I am more negatively affected by CC (forget the percent)
Next is my health regen. 7 per second. And 6.5 per second when shield is depleted (most of the time with kelvin)
And a cool down reduction to use sublimate a bit more (thinking I’m going to replace this one)
Anyway, the health regen combined with his helix health regen is pretty impressive to be honest.