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Destiny 2: Proving Grounds Grandmaster Strike Guide

Grandmaster Strikes are amongst the hardest activities to complete in Destiny 2. Each Grandmaster Strike has specific modifiers which push players toward certain loadouts, and today, we’ll be covering the ones you need for the Proving Grounds. We’ll also guide you through the strike itself with information on Champion locations and other notable tips! At the end of this guide, we’ll give a full walkthrough of the Proving Grounds strike to help you get those GM clears.

Grandmaster Strikes in Season 20

A lot has changed in Destiny 2 since the release of Lightfall, and Grandmaster Strikes are no exception. While strikes aren’t as painfully difficult as they were in the earlier weeks of the expansion, they’re still quite a bit harder than you might be used to in some cases. Luckily, Proving Grounds isn’t a hard strike to manage once you know how to go about it safely. But before jumping into the strike itself, make sure you’re the appropriate level first.

Requirements for Proving Grounds Grandmaster

Maximum Effective Light Level: 1815

Aside from being 1815 Light at least, there aren’t any other requirements for Grandmaster strikes this season. This activity has a set difficulty level, meaning that even if you are above 1815, it won’t matter. It’s gonna be hard no matter how much Artifact XP you grind, so don’t worry about overdoing it.

Modifiers for Proving Grounds Grandmaster

Proving Grounds Grandmaster Strike
Image: Bungie via HGG / Brett Moss

Every strike has unique modifiers that apply to them. In addition to those, there’s also the weekly surge to remember. Each week, there will be either a Void or Solar surge (which means those weapon types will do more damage). There’s also a seasonal focus on Strand, so it’s always one of the surge options (in Season 20, at least).

Here are the modifiers for the Proving Grounds GM:

  • Champions: Barriers and Unstoppables
  • Threat: Solar
  • Surge: Solar/Void and Strand
  • Overcharged Weapon: Sniper Rifles
  • Standard GM Modifiers: Contest, Join In Progress Disabled, Extra Champions, Locked Loadout, Extra Shields, Maximum Effective Level 1815
  • Extinguish – If your fireteam wipes, you return to orbit instead of the last checkpoint.
  • Limited Revives – Your fireteam has a set amount of revives. Gain more by defeating Champions.
  • Scorched Earth – Enemies throw more grenades.
  • Chaff – No radar.
  • Overcharged Weapons – Weapon overcharges from the Artifact are active. Kinetic weapons do bonus damage if you’re using the same subclass as one of the active surges.

Proving Grounds Strike Guide

Conquer the Proving Grounds and show your worth.
Image: Bungie via HGG / Brett Moss

Proving Grounds is notoriously one of the more difficult Grandmaster strikes, but with the right loadout and a lot of patience, it’s a breeze. You have to take your time with Proving Grounds, otherwise you’ll end up obliviously standing on a Cabal Frag Grenade. Let’s start by taking a look at some recommended loadout/subclass choices.

Obviously, you’ll want to choose your subclass carefully. Strand is always a strong choice since it has so many ways to deal with Unstoppable Champions, and Well of Radiance makes Warlocks nearly essential (at least one or two on each team). Here are the best subclass choices (and corresponding Exotic armor pieces) for the Proving Grounds GM strike:

  • Solar Warlock (Dawnblade) – Well of Radiance and Fusion Grenades
    • Exotic: Starfire Protocol
  • Void Hunter (Nightstalker) – Stealth and survivability
    • Exotic: Omnioculus or Gyrfalcon’s Halberd
  • Void Titan (Sentinel) – Bubble
    • Exotic: Helm of Inmost Light
  • Solar Titan (Sunbreaker) – Hammers and survivability
    • Exotic: Helm of Inmost Light
  • All Strand Subclasses – Suspend
    • Exotic: Either the class’s Strand Exotic or a general use Exotic.

You’ll want to align your weapon choices with the current surge modifiers. That means either Void, Solar, or Strand weapons for the most part. If an Arc or Stasis weapon is a core part of your build, though, you can still use them when needed. Here are some good choices:

  • Scout Rifle (Unstoppable Champions and fantastic ranged damage)
  • Glaive (Unstoppable Champions and unique utility)
  • Heavy Machine Gun (Add-clear)
  • Arbalest or Eriana’s Vow (Barrier Champions and high precision damage)
  • Skyburner’s Oath (Pierces Phalanx shields and shreds Cabal)
  • Elemental primary weapon of choice (Depends on your build and what your team still needs)


There are 10 Unstoppable Champions and 9 Barrier Champions in the Proving Grounds GM. For a detailed description of each Champion location, just check the full walkthrough below. Here’s a brief overview of the Champions in this strike:

  • Entering the Land Tank – 4 Unstoppables, 1 Barrier
  • Tank Room – 4 Barriers
  • Charges – 1 Unstoppable, 3 Barriers
  • Elevator – 1 Unstoppable, 1 Barrier
  • Final Boss – 4 Unstoppables

Proving Grounds Grandmaster Walkthrough

Start of the Proving Grounds Grandmaster Strike
Image: Bungie via HGG / Brett Moss

Whether you’ve done Proving Grounds before or not, it’s a strike that warrants a lot of preparation. Failing this strike can happen suddenly for a number of reasons, so make sure and keep your distance and stay vigilant. Ranged weapons are the way to go here, since getting close to the Cabal is just asking for death.

Entering the Land Tank

You start the Proving Grounds strike outside of a large Cabal tank. As you make your way through the area (which doubles as one of the original Battlegrounds locations), watch out for adds and powerful enemies. You’ll encounter your first Unstoppable Champion on the path to the lank tank.

The first unstoppable champion
Image: Bungie via HGG / Brett Moss

Watch out for Cabal Drop Pods in this area, because they spawn frequently. There are three more Champions in this area as you reach the tank’s entrance. Two of them (a Barrier and Unstoppable Champion) spawn before the boss does, but the other (another Unstoppable) spawns along with the boss.

Valus Ozysas, the first boss in the Proving Grounds
Image: Bungie via HGG / Brett Moss

As Valus Ozysas charges you, watch out for turrets and the swarm of various Cabal enemies that shows up. Once you’ve dropped Valus Ozysas to half health, he’ll spawn an orange dome shield around himself. To break the dome and damage him again, you’ll have to enter the dome and shoot the battery in the middle which powers it.

Get inside the orange dome and destroy the battery.
Image: Bungie via HGG / Brett Moss

As soon as the orange dome appears, another Unstoppable Champion will spawn.

Look out for the champions that spawn.
Image: Bungie via HGG / Brett Moss

Once you’ve defeated all the Champions and killed Valus Ozysas, it’s time to board the land tank and head toward one of the more challenging parts of the strike–the tank room.

Tank Room

Pick off the enemies you can see and destroy the yellow barrels before dropping down.
Image: Bungie via HGG / Brett Moss

As you approach the tank room, don’t drop down into the room immediately. Take out whatever adds you can see from above, and also shoot all the yellow barrels you can see. They’re explosive and usually just cause accidental team kills, so just get them out of the way early.

Two Champions spawn at the start of this section as soon as you drop into the room. This time it’s two Barrier Champions. There’s a lot of chaos to deal with here.

It's a chaotic firefight in this room. - Proving Grounds Grandmaster
Image: Bungie via HGG / Brett Moss

In addition to the Champions, also watch out for the combination of Interceptors, Psions, and War Beasts that will charge you from the middle of the room. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed if you don’t stay on top of the army of adds. Keep the smaller enemies in check before targeting the ones that take longer to defeat.

Goliath Tanks spawn at this stage of the Proving Grounds.
Image: Bungie via HGG / Brett Moss

After you’ve cleared out the room, two Goliath Tanks will spawn. There will also be two more Barrier Champions and another swarm of powerful and weak enemies. All you have to do in this part is survive and clear out all the enemies, including the tanks.

Watch out for the tanks’ high-damage projectile blasts, because they can easily one-shot you. There are also several Psions on the edges of the room that can pick you off with their surprisingly high sniper damage.

Dodge these projectiles, or you'll quickly die.
Image: Bungie via HGG / Brett Moss

Stick to the part of the room you dropped into, because it has the best cover. Use Well of Radiance, Ward of Dawn, or other defensive supers to help your team stay alive. It’s not an easy room by any means, but once the room is cleared out you’re onto a much easier section of the strike.


During this section, your team will need to deposit two charges to progress. In the room with the first charge, there will be an Unstoppable Champion and a bunch of adds to clear out. There are also Honored Psions hiding in the upper rafters, so watch out for them. They’re in both charge rooms, so don’t forget about them.

Pick off the Psions before they do the same to you. - Proving Grounds Grandmaster
Image: Bungie via HGG / Brett Moss

Once you’ve cleared out all the enemies, pick up the charge and run over to the door. When the door opens, be ready to clear more adds and some powerful enemies. The charge holder should drop the charge and help fight enemies until everything has been defeated. This includes a Barrier Champion in the room where you have to deposit the charge.

Don't worry about the charge until you're in the clear.
Image: Bungie via HGG / Brett Moss

Once the deposit room has been cleared out, go back for the charge in the first room and bring it into the newly cleared out room. After depositing it where prompted, get ready for another wave of adds when the doors to the second charge room open. There is a Barrier Champion in the room with the second charge, so don’t rush in too quick.

After someone picks up the second charge (or once all the adds in that room are cleared), more adds will spawn in the deposit room. Watch out for the Gladiators that spawn here, as they’ll charge through the doors and attack you whether you see them or not. There’s also another Barrier Champion that can be easily defeated once the Gladiators have been dealt with.

Watch out for the charging gladiators.
Image: Bungie via HGG / Brett Moss

Once everything is clear, bring the second charge into the deposit room and deposit it. However, don’t get too careless here. During the brief trip remaining to the final boss fight, you’ll encounter a room with a large elevator in it. Two more Champions spawn in this room–one Unstoppable and one Barrier Champion. There are also a lot of adds in this room, so as always, be careful.

Final Boss – Ignovun, Chosen of Caital

Ignovun is a pretty simple boss fight, though it is very chaotic. The first thing to know is that before beginning the Rite of Proving (starting the boss fight), you can use your super for free since it refills it automatically. This gives you a decent advantage at the start of the fight at no cost, so it’s always worth doing.

Shoot down those fireballs before they kill you. - Proving Grounds Grandmaster
Image: Bungie via HGG / Brett Moss

Throughout this fight, you’ll notice that the boss occasionally launches fireballs up into the air. These fireballs are deadly if they connect with a Guardian, so avoid them at all costs. You can easily break them by shooting them, and it only takes a couple shots at most to break them. Even if they’re not coming at you, try to shoot them as soon as you see them appear.

Unless you’re forced not to, stay towards the back where there’s cover. This gives enough room to shoot fireballs before they get too close and it allows you to avoid getting split up from your team.

Once again, get in the dome and break the battery.
Image: Bungie via HGG / Brett Moss

Once the boss spawns the orange dome and goes immune, you’ll have to deal with it the same as during the first boss. Get inside the dome and break the battery so you can continue the fight. As soon as the boss goes immune for the first time, the first two Champions of the boss fight will spawn. Both are Unstoppable Champions.

Keep gunning down the champions and you'll soon clear the Proving Grounds Grandmaster strike.
Image: Bungie via HGG / Brett Moss

From here, just repeat the same process until the boss jumps up top and goes immune for the second time. You’ll have kill two more Champions (both Unstoppables), then you’ll need to get up top to destroy the battery once more. From there, just finish the boss off.

Sticking to the back part of the room is still a good idea, but throw everything you have at him from here. After that, you’re done with the Proving Grounds GM Strike!

Join the High Ground!

Proving Grounds Grandmaster is not exactly an easy strike, but it’s far from impossible. Thanks for reading this guide to help get you through it and let us know in the comments if you have an even better strategy!

And as always, make sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to keep the high ground!

Happy gaming!

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