So what's the deal with Kelvin?

I’m level 55 atm, and I have yet to see a single Kelvin in either PvE or PvP. I actually gave him a try a few nights ago and he didn’t seem that bad- Ended 5-1 in Meltdown with most Minions destroyed. He has two stuns and a low-tier minion insta-kill with his chomp(Though it is a pain to land in first person but that’s neither here nor there). Both of those are traits that should be amazing in PvP, at least. But he’s practically ignored to the point that I actually forgot he was a character in the game at one point.

So, PVP wise, is he underpowered? Pretty much awful? Other than the fact there are higher tier characters if you want a tank or even damage-wise, I’d love to know why he’s skipped over, barring the fact he’s just not a popular character.

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His stun isn’t overperforming anymore so a lot of people are shying away from him now.

Since the stun nerf people just dropped him, which I don’t understand why cause he’s still good. I think in most cases it’s the same with attikus, being a big target that gets focused to the point of not being fun in cases (In Incursion anyways). I guess the difference with Attikus is that he can do more damage than Kelvin and that’s what gets people really happy in this game. I guess people haven’t realized he can Dash with his chomp now.

Kelvin will be my next Master Character (8 so far wouuuuu!) and I’ll save more judgement until then, but as far as I’ve seen he’s really good.

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In terms of tiers (despite me not liking tiers), he’s probably slightly lower than Toby. He received a heavy nerf recently to his sublimate, which was the biggest reason most teams chose Kelvin.

That and the fact Kelvin is harder to use in solo PvP, you can see why most people don’t pick him. He is a large target with a large crit spot right in the middle of his body without a shield who has to get in close to do damage that is lower than most melees.

However, some people are just able to do better with certain characters over others, so if you enjoy him and are having success with him, keep playing Kelvin. The chances are high that the devs will buff Kelvin later to make up for the nerf.

He’s great if you have the support behind you. I play him when i have at least 2 friends with me, as when you play solo in PVP your abilities might go to waste as his stun and wall block need to be taken advantage by your team mates.

I still find he can perform well, but he went from being a dark horse character to a pretty average character.

The problem comes about from the fact that he’s the only melee character now who has nothing to effectively deal with being kited.

Shayne and Aurox have pulls and stealth, Rath has Smash and Crossblade, Attikus has Pounce, El Dragón has Clothesline, Pendles has stealth and stealth and also stealth, Boldur’s got Boldurdash, Galilea has Shield Throw and her sword beams, Deande has throwing fans and stealth, Phoebe’s got Blade Rush and Phasegate.

Kelvin had Sublimate. And I don’t mean to say it’s useless now, but if Kelvin’s in a situation where there’s a faster character than him harassing him, well… he kinda just has to leave. Sublimate’s too slow to catch anyone who sees it activate that Kelvin couldn’t already chase, even with Swelling Wind he doesn’t speed up fast enough for them to not get out of the way. Ice Wall’s too unreliable to help.


Well they were like people don’t like him running around with subliminate to escape. Which they murdered that, but then they went one further and murdered his stun to. Turns out that’s all he had. Like that’s the reason you picked him as a tank was his CC. Now he has nothing.

There is 0 reason to pick this character now that’s why you don’t see him.

Sorry, what? I was playing as Kelvin yesterday and didn’t notice anything. What’s this I hear about dashing with chomp?

His stun was what he had going for him because it let him stun with relative safety (he can still be cc’d but he was too fast if you didn’t catch him preemptively) then return to his allies or he also could Stun them then deactivate his mist form on the last foe then immediately chomp them while they are stunned entirely and the other enemies before that last foe stunned wouldn’t really stop you in most cases.

The Speed nerf increased the gap between how enemies being stunned time wise so if he stopped to chomp a stunned enemy they earliest BB hit could harass/stop Kelvin provided sufficient distance and other factors. The Stun nerf then made it so that Kelvin can barely chain stun then chomp that much any more because the enemies have much more time to work with to stop your you mid mist form for or pull you of an ally. So not only is he easy to knock out of his mist from or run away from his stun which also isn’t enough and doesn’t lock down. So now with a neutered skill he has his chomp which only works on 1 foe and is now much less safe after a stun and a wall that is pretty wonky to use and meh as an ult.

Kelvin was once something great, on his own, now he is HEAVILY dependent on his team mates to even make it out of a skirmish with his life. Before he could keep his own, harrass, tank, and escape without that much hassle if you played him that way, now you can’t guarantee an escape, can’t CC well enough to harass, and your damage has never EVER been anything to write home about.

If you have a really good Pocket Miko, then sure, use Kelvin otherwise there are way better tanks than him (Montana for a Tank with CC AND DPS and Boldur for pure tankyness AND late-game sweeper). Kleese is a more dangerous threat as a tank and harasser than poor Kelvin.

Kelvin sucks because

  • lowest melee damage in the game

  • has one of the most useless ultimates and hard to aim ultimate due to the 1 second delay

  • huge target that cant stay in the lanes long enough to tank

  • has all the disadvantages of a melee character

I completely forgot about him lol. You’re right, I haven’t seen a Kelvin in pvp in a long time

Well, Sublimate is pretty much all Kelvin has going for him until deep endgame and only if he’s been able to Chomp lots of enemies to death and get a whole load of hp (the helix that make Chomp do loads of damage is based on his current hp; it’s gonna provide a laughable amount of he’s not packing an unholy amount of hp). By nerfing Sublimate, they ended up nerfing his early game even more than his overall mobility/control capabilities. With a weak early game, he’s not particularly well equipped to munch on enough minions to make his late game viable: it doesn’t matter if he’s level 10 with full loadout if he’s only been able to eat 5 minions the entire time.

I’m not worried about it because I am pretty sure that the devs are as usual monitoring his performance and will make adjustments as needed. If the CC nerf was too strong they will either lessen the effects of the nerf or perhaps instead buff the character up in other areas. The developers want to get him (along with any other character) in a place where both they themselves and the players are happy with him. In the meantime things are going to be a little tough for some people. I performed terribly with Kelvin before the changes. The only character I am worse with is Phoebe.

I’m still able to preform well with Kelvin, but I barely play him simply because the reason I played him in the first place because he was a controller. I could set-up kills or save allies with smart use of sublimate, at the very least push away enemies so I could munch on minions. But with the nerf and the ult which was always sub-par, there are far better controllers in the game.
The devs need to improve his early game and rework his ult. Improve his melee capabilities and bring back sublimate’s original speed, IMO.

Yea he can dash during his chomp animation (The same way Attikus can dash with his charged hook.

You mean sprint? I thought that was common knowledge… I thought you meant like a lunge or something.

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Kelvin is good, but IMO, other tanks can do the same things if not better. I think that is the reason nobody plays him. His ult is laughably bad, especially since it has a delay, which is ridiculous. It’s unreliale because sometimes when you stun an enemy with it, they are able to get to the other side of the wall, being 100% safe from you since you can’t pass the wall yourself. His ult needs work.

And sublimate is cool, but it’s quite meh. If I play against Kelvin and see he uses Sublimate, I’m like: “Fuuuuuuuuuck” then it hits me and stuns me, and then I don’t get any damage, and then I’m not stunned anymore… It’s like the least dangerous stun of the entire game. O.o I used to be very afraid of Sublimate but now it’s nothing.

Chomp is amazing, but I wish that(since they nerfed sublimate so much) it could comp multiple MINOR enemies at the same time. This way, you can wave clear effectively. Because usually it takes me 20 seconds to take out the tiny minions JUST because I want to chomp them all… ;p (GIMME YOUR HP!)

I play Kelvin by the way, I’m rank 13 with him now. I also play Monty and Boldur and there are so many reasons to choose those two above Kelvin.

I do love Kelvins health regen, because with my gear setup I can get to 40 health regen per second(When I’m near allies and have survived for 180 seconds.)

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I’ve been playing since release. There has always been a shortage of Kelvin players. Even before the nerf. I think the general issue is that he’s a very odd “tank”. Many of the BB population want instant results in their players and Kelvin really only shines after a long grinding period. If you aren’t chomping minions or luckily getting BB kills with chomp, he gets outshined by all other tanks no questions asked. He’s squishy at first, but pretty much unkillable at the end. Generally the PVP games don’t last the full time anymore because of forfeits. This pretty much makes it hard for Kelvin to shine. You get a kelvin and a miko, it’s over. don’t bother shooting him. I love playing him and he was the second guy I played when I started BB. I think people play him and his lores and drop him. It’s been a general understanding that he needs some reworks to balance him out. I’m not sure if that’s even on Gearbox radar.


Everyone has said it pretty effectively.

Kevin was never a particularly all encompassing character, he relied too much on sublimate to make up for his other discrepancies. With the loss of movement on that and the halving of the stun he’s left with very little in the way of options. This combined with the fact that he was always difficult to get the most out of is probably why you don’t see him often.

Like atticus sublimate is his only escape, and with a high cool down players are often stuck between using it as an escape or some form of initiator/mid fight game changer. The stun isn’t enough for that, and the speed loss makes it a pretty mediocre escape now.

Combined with his fairly low damage output, large hitbox, average movement speed, players are left either having a full fledged support behind him, or resulting in guerrilla warfare of dipping in and out, which reduces his lane presence and overall effectiveness. In both cases his mediocre toolbox leaves players wishing they’d taken a better option.

He’s probably my first or second favorite battleborn and I’ve thrown hundreds of hours behind him, but as constructed currently he doesn’t offer much. I enjoy him in capture and sometimes meltdown, but he’s a difficult ice monster to use.

The slow change may also put a damper on the ‘alternate’ build that a lot of players were using lately, making it likely you may see even FEWER Kevin players.

The fix will require a long look at what the developers want Kevin to DO. Do they want him to be a controller that darts in and supports his team? Do they want him to be a health growing tank? Do they want him as a brawler that can take out minions and be a continual lane presence (because of his health and regen)? Until they fully answer what they envision Kevin to be the player base is left with a mediocre character that players are better served leaving behind for most games in favor of more complete options.

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