Zulwood Grove: Proving Grounds 5 (Bastion Guide)

Zulwood Grove starting spot in Bastion

Zulwood Grove is one of the easier proving grounds. It tests your aim and shot selection with the Scrap Musket.

Your goal here is to get rid of the 42 target balloons on one cramped block. The best way to do this is to push them off the edges using the Musket’s knockback trait. After completing this challenge, you’ll get prizes based on the number of shots you made:

Zulwood Grove
Rank Requirement Reward
1st 15 shots or less “Scrap Salvo” Secret Skill
2nd 22 shots or less “Something Foul” Upgrade Material
3rd First clear “Something Coarse” Upgrade Material


The Knockback Upgrade is the most important for Zulwood Grove / Bastion
The Knockback Upgrade is the most important for Zulwood Grove

Let’s talk about upgrades for this challenge.

You’ll want to get the increased knockback second tier upgrade. Without it, the Musket won’t have the strength to push the balloons far enough to matter.

You can also wait for the other knockback upgrade on the fourth tier. That one’s not necessary, but it does maximize each shot’s “push”.

While either of the first tier upgrades are feasible, you should go for the better spread with Smoothbore Barrel. You’ll have a wider net with which to herd the balloons. It’s also more forgiving than the range upgrade because of how the targets are arranged.

Scrap Musket Upgrades
Tier Upgrade Name Effect
1 Smoothbore Barrel +35% spread
-15% range
2 Impact Shells Increased knockback

General Tips

Tip #1: Make each shot push as many balloons as possible towards the edges

An example of how to Cluster the Balloons / Bastion
An example of how to Cluster the Balloons

To get the first prize, you can only make 14 shots at most to remove the 42 balloons. So you must make each shot count by blasting many at once.

Round them up along the edges, then blast them one more time to make them fall together.

Tip #2: Fire from close range

The closer you are, the further they'll fly / Bastion
The closer you are, the further they’ll fly

Targets get knocked back farther if you shoot them from up close. In contrast, your knockbacks are weaker against targets that are far.

Move close to as many balloons that can fit within your spread.

When you shoot, you’ll propel them across the field.

Tip #3: Change your angle after each shot

Move around to find the best angles / Bastion
Move around to find the best angles

Don’t pummel the balloons from a single angle. When they bunch up close together, they form a solid mass that can dampen your knockbacks.

Part of this is related to Tip #2:

The balloons further away from you don’t get knocked back as much as those near you. Instead, they’ll collide with each other and negate their momentum.

To avoid this, change up your angle so you’re pushing them diagonally to the edges.

Move around so you’re like sweeping them instead of brute-forcing them forward. You’ll also hit more balloons this way too.

Tip #4: Learn the width of your spread

A common mistake that can lead to failure here is in overestimating your spread.

You can miss a few individual targets while shooting. If that happens, you’ll have to waste shots to clear those stray balloons.

Limit these mistakes by getting familiar with your Musket’s spread. Practice shooting with it before getting serious on the proving grounds.

Then once you feel good about the weapon, use the restart button near the prizes so you can do the test for real.

The restart button is here if you want to re-do the Challenge / Bastion
The restart button is here if you want to re-do the Challenge


Getting all three prizes with 14 Shots / Bastion
Getting all three prizes with 14 Shots
  • You’ll always get the 3rd prize after your first run regardless of your performance. This prize is a Something Coarse, which you can use to upgrade your Musket.
  • The 2nd prize is a Something Foul for the Flame Bellows.
  • With the 1st prize, you’ll gain “Scrap Salvo”, which is a new Secret Skill for the Musket.
Secret Skill: Scrap Salvo (Scrap Musket) / Bastion

Secret Skill: Scrap Salvo (Scrap Musket)

You fire 8 shots in rapid succession with the Musket. This Skill ignores the reload time of the Musket. The downside is that you can’t move while doing this Skill.

Louie Nelson Zafico

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As a frustrated otter who dreams of getting published, Louie instead wastes his life cuddling his cats. He spent his childhood playing Suikoden, grew up with Total War, and matured (somewhat) with EU4. He hopes to someday find a geopolitical JRPG with the 4X systems of a Paradox game.

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