Tried a new Kelvin loadout/build, and... WOW

So I think the majority of us Kelvin players focus on his survivability: Increasing max health, health regeneration, and/or overshield. That being said I decided to try something out and focus on his “brawler” class. I thought “the game gives many obvious indicators of him being an ice character, but the way most of us play him, he seems more like a big biting rock monster with his only ice quality being an occasional stun”.
So here’s what I did:
I focused on his damage output and unique slow-CC effects that his melee can apply. I remembered that one of his mutations gives a giant 25%damage boost to his chomp against slowed enemies, so I really focused on that.

•My first mutation was the added slowing affect on the 4th hit of his melee attacks (which I found out also affects his secondary ground pound). I also went for the hated mutation that changes his sublimate to a trail that slows rather than a stun. I went with the 25% chomp mutation and the mutation that adds 3% of your current health as added damage to chomp.

•My load out was:
Attack speed (get to that 4th hit slow more quickly).
Skill damage (even more damage added to chomp)
And shield penetration

•I played him by spamming ground pound until the enemie(s) was/were slowed. Then using my main melee to deal a lot of damage and continuing to slow them, and using chomp as often as possible while they were slowed (which was dealing incredible damage). When using sublimate I would make sure to first hit the opponent (to deal the roughly 100 damage that it would deal) then you have to use the ice trail to “draw” as big of an icetrail as you can. Make sure to cover a large area or if your opponent is in a narrow area just make sure to get the entire area… then run in with another devastating chomp. Also, using the level 6 windchill mutation that grants 3 extra seconds in sublimate for every major enemy hit is extremely helpful in creating a giant ice trail to slow your foes.

All in all this build and load out was extremely affective (especially in meltdown), and tons of fun. Kelvin finally felt like an ice monster and not a rock monster. I was doing great damage and actually got more kills than the rest of my team and I ate a ton of minions (around 40, which resulted in a big damage buff to chomp from the 3% health mutation).
All in all. It’s a fun way to play Kelvin that just feels right. He actually feels like a controller-brawler -ice monster.
Give it a shot Kelvin community, and tell me what you think. It takes some getting used to, but I know this is how I will be playing him from here on out.

A small tip. The enemies have some weird looking lines swirling around the center of them to indicate when their slow. Chomp away!

Here’s the full helix I run for this build.,0,1,1,-1,-1,-1,1,1,1,


I’ll give it a whirl, the slow effect helix always had me curious but I never bothered trying it. A few things that caught my eye:

The 4th hit slows helix applies to his secondary attack? I had always assumed it only applied to his main attack. I suppose it does just say “melee hits”. On that note, the ground pound comes out as 2 pounds per secondary fire, have you checked to see if this means the slow happens on the second fire, or does it have to be four fires?

I’m wondering if Quick Bite might be a better choice over Diffusion on level 2 for this build - helps you keep the slow applied to multiple targets by keeping your speed up so you can bounce between them faster.

Shield Penetration was just a random choice? Given that this build, like any other Kelvin build, uses Chomp constantly, I think a +shield max gear would not be out of place at all.

Back when I was first figuring Kelvin out, I did pick the Slow mutation a lot until I figured out how useful the stun was for setting up Chomp finishers, so I definitely know the sort of movement you should be doing to maximize the Slow field.

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To answer your question about ground pound, yes it applies the slow on the “second fire”. From what I can see as long as you melee hit someone 4 times, no matter how it’s done or how long it takes, it applies the slow. I think that the mutation was actually intended for ground pound since ground pound comes out in 2 hits each fire, and why make the mutation on 4 hits when most other similar mutations for characters are applied on the 3rd. It’s a serious game changer for meltdown since you can slow all their minions in seconds which makes them take longer to sacrifice themselves.
And like I said, I was maximizing damage but buffing his chomp as much as possible, but I was considering the speed chomp for the same reason you mentioned. I’m logging on now, so I’ll give it a try.
And lastly the shield penetration is there because I wanted to focus on his brawler class, and I figured that the faster I can drain their health the better. But yeah that last one has been up in the air for me, I may even go with normal attack power or go for the shield regeneration. I’m not sure yet. The reason I like my shieldad penetration item is because I can activate at the beginning of the game, and the other two items cost almost 800-900 each which is a little pricey compared to my usual builds.

The quick bite is okay. I think I may still prefer the extra damage, but thats just my preference. However I just tried the mutation that allows you to stay in sublimate longer if you hit a major enemy. This is an amazing mutation for this build. Holy ice trail of giantess is massive. Especially in meltdown.

That’s an example of my typical results in meltdown with this build.

Well, when I do gear for incursion or meltdown, I always do 2 legendaries and a sketchy easy money (no cost 2.1 shards per second with -healing) and for kelvin, i’d probably use symbiotic gauntlet and chrono key or a skill damage boost.

I’ll give this a try whenever I play Kelvin again. I haven’t invested in the slows yet since I’m trying to get the lore to stun 3 Battleborn at once, but I have been dying to try new loadouts for Kelvin. Definitely one of my favorite characters :slight_smile:


Maths on chomp

Base damage: 67 + 500 * 0.15= 67 + 75 = 142
Diffusion: 3% Kelvin’s health ~= (2033*0.03) = 60 up to 90, possibly 100
Slow food: 1.25 * chomp damage
Sawtooth: replace base damage with 67 + 500 * 0.30 = 217
Skill Damage Gear: +10%
Theoretical max damage without gear or scaling: (217 + 100) * 1.25 = 396
Theoretical max damage with gear, no scaling: 396 * 1.1 = 435

I don’t have scaling data - anyone that does can add it in.
435 per chomp isn’t bad, though.

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Correct me if I’m wrong but I thought chomp worked like this
X damage + Y damage
Where Y = 15% of the enemies max health upto 500.
So let’s say the enemies health is 2000. Chomp will deal X+(2000*0.15)
But if 15% of the enemies max health was over 500, then Y will max out at 500.

Don’t know if I did a bad job explaining that

I also added a link to the full helix that I use to the main post.

So with that idea…
Montana = 2191 * 0.15 = 328; 2191 * 0.3 = 657
Kleese = 773 * 0.15 = 115; 773* 0.3 = 231

Maths on chomp, revised

Base damage: 67 + (773|2191) * 0.15= 67 + (115|328) = 182 up to 395
Diffusion: 3% Kelvin’s health ~= (2033*0.03) = 60 up to 90, possibly 100
Slow food: 1.25 * chomp damage
Sawtooth: replace base damage with 67 + 231 up to 500 = 298 up to 567
Skill Damage Gear: +10%
Theoretical max damage without gear or scaling: (298|567 + 100) * 1.25 = 497 up to 833
Theoretical max damage with gear, no scaling: 396 * 1.1 = 546 up to 916

I don’t have scaling data - anyone that does can add it in.
546 to 916 per chomp isn’t bad, though.

Can Chomp crit? If so, it might be worth trying to time a jump to head height on a player before chomping for that sweet 1.5x.

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@battleaxe0, Can Chomp crit? Yes, oh yes it can. I was on the Sentinal. I had +6000 HP by the end. I was one chomping the Golems at the end (with Crits).

Enjoy the big Icedude. I know I do.

Hopefully they don’t nerf him too.

Awesome - one chomp taking 3/4 of Montana’s life might get his attention. :slight_smile:

You should do it solo. You can get 12k pretty easily.

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If you guys want, I’ll make an actual video for this and a more in depth build description. I haven’t taken on any video projects for a build before, but it could be fun.

This build is a ton of fun, and I’m not sure if words alone really does it any justice.


Thank you for this. I was thinking about really trying to learn kelvin and wrapping up his last lore and few levels, and this makes me excited to play him again!

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No problem my friend.
I’ve recently discovered that stacking attack speed and skill damage is extremely affective with this build. Attack sppes takes a slight priority over skill damage. The faster you can apply that slow, the better.
The 3rd item is kind of a free-bee too, pick whatever you want for that one.

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I know I wouldn’t mind seeing that. I tried this build a few times and couldn’t get it to quite work for me.

Sure thing, I’ll work on it. It won’t get done this weekend (I’m going out of town) but I’ll work on it next week and hopefully get it up on either Thursday or the weekend of next week.

The more I play this build, the more I learn about the best strategy for this build, specifically when it comes to the optimal time/way to use sublimate. I’ll go deeper into that when I make the video.

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I think I’ll stick to my defensive Kelvin lol