Countdown to The Book of Melee: The Top 100 Melee Sets of All Time (10-1)

Hi, everyone. I’m happy to present my Top 100 Melee Sets of All Time, with today’s focus on the sets ranked 10-1. Here’s a brief FAQ on this project and The Book of Melee.

What is The Book of Melee?

“The Book of Melee” is my upcoming book about the history of the competitive “Super Smash Bros. Melee” community. It follows Melee’s greatest players and leaders through their collective efforts to support the scene’s survival over nearly two decades. I began working on the book in late 2016, and am releasing it for electronic consumption on May 8, 2019. Physical copies are TBA, and currently only available for those who purchased the book for a limited offer on The Big House 8 Compendium. Purchasing a physical copy will be available at a later date.

What is The Top 100 Melee Sets of All Time?

This project is exactly what it sounds like: a recap of my top 100 favorite Melee sets leading up to my book release.

How did you determine the Top 100?

As detailed in my introduction and methodology post, I went through all of Melee history and picked my favorite sets from each year and major tournament. After creating this initial list, I chose to order and cut down what I had selected, based on both the criteria I listed in my previous post and personal taste. Before anyone asks about why “X” wasn’t on the list, chances are that it could have easily made the Top 100, but just wasn’t selected. There were a bit more than 120 sets that I initially listed.

More accurately, the final project could be interpreted as “Edwin’s Top 100 favorite Melee sets of all time.” But I’d like to think that the effort I took into pursuing this project, as well as writing a book about Melee history, would be enough for this list to be somewhat of an authoritative starting resource for any newcomer to the scene, and not just some guy’s opinion.

I’ve never heard of you! What makes you think you’re qualified to determine Melee’s best sets above anyone else?

I’ve been writing about Melee news and Melee history for almost three years. I can’t say that this list is really anything more than just my opinion based on a set of arbitrary criteria that I try to be fair with, but I hope it’s an entertaining and convincing read for anyone interested in Melee.


10. Leffen vs. Armada at Paragon Orlando 2015

This is the set that forever changed the Fox ditto punish game and the nature of the intra-Swedish rivalry. Leffen starts it off by bodying Armada’s Peach the hardest out of any opponent ever and then steamrolling Armada’s Fox in game two. Suddenly, in a manner similar to their epic BEAST V set, Armada came alive, four-stocking Leffen in game three in the Fox ditto. He nearly repeats the same feat in game four, and jumps out to a three to one stock lead in game five. But Leffen finally wakes up and manages to bring it to a last stock situation. By the set’s ending, both players immediately knew that they had played the defining set of their rivalry, and that it would be etched in stone as the greatest Fox ditto ever.

9. Mango vs. Leffen at Genesis 4

If there was a dictionary specifically made for Melee sets and you looked up the term, “slobber-knocker,” this is it: the ultimate Falco-Fox set. Featuring bedazzling punishes from both players against each other, sloppy, although entertaining flashes of brilliance, and a miraculous comeback from Mango in game four, it is nearly everything stellar about Melee distilled in its fastest matchup. This is a favorite among players and fans alike – and it features one of the funniest Scar yelps of all time.

8. PPMD vs. Armada at Pound V

Up until this point, the five gods of Melee weren’t quite an established part of the scene. Mango and Mew2King has their reigns of terror, but Mango was no longer competitively motivated and Mew2King had clearly prioritized his Brawl career at the time. Hungrybox had a stretch of dominance in 2010, but fizzled out relatively quickly in comparison to the top competitors. In Pound V grand finals, both PPMD and Armada were the two remaining contenders for world No. 1. Both hailed from weak Melee regions and found different paths to individual success, now each seeking their first supermajor win. The moment when the lights turn off in the venue – and you can hear the audible gasps and reactions of hundreds of smashers – gives me goosebumps to this day, as does the bair that kept PPMD’s tournament alive.

7. Mango vs. Armada at Royal Flush

Were it not for two other tournaments, this would almost certainly be remembered as the ultimate Mango-Armada grand finals. Their 15 games against each other should say enough. But most compelling is how different their circumstances are heading into the set. Armada was amid one of the most dominant stretches of tournament winning ever. Conversely, a slumping Mango had been a punchline for his lackluster performances leading up to Royal Flush. Some even speculated about a potential shift in priorities for him away from Melee competition and into his personal stream brand. To date, this is the most magical experience I have ever had as a smasher; to see 15 games of Mango-Armada live. If you look closely in the video, you can see me rush the stage at its conclusion.

6. PPMD vs. Armada at Apex 2015

This particular matchup marked an evolution in the PPMD-Armada rivalry, which now had an established, but still thrilling and relatively new element of character counterpicking between the two. Between the epic shades of their Apex 2013 set in winner’s semifinals, fantastic play from Armada’s Fox in the first set of grand finals, PPMD’s Marth cooly holding off the same Fox in grand finals set two, is a story of resilience that reflected the community ensuring the survival of their seemingly doomed event. That the finale of set two led to the overwhelmed Apex 2015 champion – after half a year of disappearing from the national spotlight due to depression – holding his head in his hands, clutching his heart, and then rising to face an exhausted venue of delirious and excited smashers, is only fitting. It remains an iconic moment of personal and community triumph.

5. Armada vs. Mango at Genesis 2

It’s practically laughable to ever suggest it today, but in mid-2011, Armada was perceived as a choker. He had never won any American major. Following his devastating loss at Pound V, Armada nearly quit Melee for good before eventually returning at Genesis 2 – propped by community funds – to try one last time. And though Armada managed to make grands while dropping only one game, he still had one demon left to slay in his path: Mango, the man who had stopped his run at the original Genesis. This time, Mango played a rushdown Fox that had just brutalized Taj – the underdog hero of Genesis 2. The two went blow-for-blow for every game, and their goals were different, but similar. For Mango, Genesis 2 has sparked his competitive fire for the first time since Pound 4, and he saw it as a chance to take back what was rightfully his in Melee’s throne. For Armada, it was a chance at overcoming a history of heartbreak in America and finally proving himself as a man worthy of being a world champion.

4. Hungrybox vs. Armada at Evo 2016

Evo 2016 was Melee’s biggest “esports” moment ever, and it isn’t particularly close. Between the 2000-plus entrants at the event, its headlined and expected Hungrybox vs. Armada bout in grand finals and the hundreds of thousands of eyes watching from home, the sheer spectacle of these two arena-packed Melee sets makes them forever immortalized in our scene’s history. When you add in unforgettable commentary from Scar and Toph, the huge momentum shifts leading to huge uncertainty as to who had the edge, The Rest Heard Around The World to close set one, and the epic celebration from its victor at the end of set two, you really can’t ignore this set as anything less than scene-defining.

3. Mango vs. Taj at Genesis 2

When I first entered the Melee scene, one of the initial questions asked knowledgeable players was, “what set is your favorite set?” I’ll never forget the instant response of GameFAQS poster Habefiet: Taj vs. Mango. For years, I couldn’t put to words why, but I think now I get it. In the first set, the combination of Mango’s bursts of unstoppable Falco genius, Taj’s devastating bag of tricks off-stage and raw-as-hell hybrid of commentary/shittalk hybrid from HomeMadeWaffles make it instantly memorable on its own.

But it’s the second set – in which an angry and bloodthirsty Mango picks Fox, then rumored to the deadliest weapon in Mango’s arsenal and his newest experiment, against the man who struck the god himself down to loser’s bracket – that brings Mango-Taj from being an all time classic to being scene-defining. No other set comes close to embodying the brutal skill curve of Melee, arguably the game’s defining quality. In the set’s climactic moments, you not only see the world’s most terrifying player enter an untouchable zone, you see the thrill of Melee at its darkest and primal core. It’s a game where if you play the right way, you too can tear your opponent’s heart out, dominate them at will to the glee of thousands, and leave them with no option but to unplug their controller and never come back.

2. Mango vs. Armada at Genesis

Let’s get the obvious out of the way. This tournament spawned the start of Melee’s defining rivalry. Mango had grown weary of ruling his scene with no challenger, but little did he know that a Swedish teenager who played Peach and could barely speak English would shrug off every other American champion in his path and come knocking at Mango’s throne, let alone utterly dominate his untouchable Jigglypuff in their first tournament game.

It set the pace for a thrilling winner’s finals matchup of Mango’s Falco against Armada’s Peach. Watch the first set today and you’ll notice the exact moment where the largely American venue and commentators become desperate and realize what’s happening. With a foreign invader proving that fundamental assumptions the Americans held about Melee were wrong, Mango was the United States’ last hero. Eventually, he too fell.

The circumstances behind a Swedish traveling all the way to California to compete in a game that wasn’t even the premier game in its franchise, could have only happened in an open bracket system, an integral part of Melee’s grassroots appeal. If you wanted a pop culture comparison, it’s easy to look at the Armada-Mango matchup as Ivan Drago against Rocky Balboa. But in reality, Armada was Rocky: Mango was Apollo Creed.

It all lead to a magical set two, where following Armada utterly destroying Mango’s Falco game 1, the American hero went back to his trademark Jigglypuff, knowing that everything lay on the line. For the first time in seemingly years, the overwhelmingly pro-American venue cheered for a Jigglypuff. Just watch the rest.

1. Armada vs. Mew2King at SSC 2018

Melee is in a weird place. The community isn’t quite in a dark age, but it’s well past the honeymoon period of 2013-2016, when nothing could stop its ascendance. Despite metagame has developed to new technical boundaries, we are a wearier and older population, unsure of our long-term futures in and out of the game. Smashers, for the most part, are cautious about the promises and riches of esports and greater visibility.

Despite what they may say publicly, our best players are no different. Just like us, they struggle to find existential purpose and a long-term way of maintaining their love for Melee as their lives inevitably change. Perhaps no tournament conveys the same mood of anxiety and soul-crushing existential dread than Super Smash Con 2018. Here, the bevy of top player dropouts, a soul-crushing 65th place from the world’s most popular Melee player and a public meltdown from the world’s best player almost marred what was initially promised as a thrilling national in the Summer of Smash.

Almost. These grand finals boast the most epic gameplay I’ve seen from two competitors, let alone two titans. Intense neutral, brutal punish games, adaptions from both sides, last-stock moments, pop offs, momentum shifts – you name it and this set has it in spades. Even the commentary, which centers a longtime god like Mango alongside scene veterans like Chillin and DJ Nintendo, fires on all cylinders with a mix of professionalism, grassroots authenticity, maturity, emotional tone-setting, and game insight.

There’s a strange beauty in the set’s conclusion. Armada, up two stocks to one in an otherwise back-and-forth game 10, instantly pulls away with a zero to death: an ending that could’ve been anticlimactic elsewhere, but not here. By the time he stands up and does his dorky victory salute at the audience, we are all cheering. None of us have any idea what was going through his mind.

Imagine what must it have felt like in that moment, to have celebratory confetti in your face, facing thousands of people who love you for everything you’ve done for them, knowing that this is it; to dream of ambitions outside of Melee; to fight doubts about if those ambitions will ever give you the same happiness.

This unique convergence of storylines, gameplay, entertainment value, and emotional nuance happened just last year. It’s a testament to our community’s resilience and growth over generations of players. The cherry on top is the involvement of two old-school legends, showing that as times may change, some of what we hold close to our heart will always stay the same. That’s why I picked Armada vs. Mew2King at SSC 2018 as the greatest set of all time: it embodies the principles that define our scene over two decades, and, above ell else, transcendent Melee.


Well, that’s it for the project, and for the countdown to The Book of Melee. You can now download a copy here, with the ability to pay whatever amount you think it’s worth.

Before I conclude this project for good, I want to thank all my friends and family for supporting my journey. While I’m working on finalizing print copies, I’d like to conclude this countdown with the final words of my book.

With the community facing a transitional period in 2019, it’s clear why people still play Melee after so many years. They play for the late-night matches in the middle of a crowded studio apartment on a work night, for those times when they tell their friends “I swear this is my last friendly,” for when they watch an Armada vs. Mango set in a packed theater with thousands of fellow enthusiasts who flew countless miles and paid hundreds of dollars just to play with each other.

They play for the magic of early 2000s nostalgia, for the timeless and unsolvable puzzle that is Melee, for the liberating jolt of adrenaline in a last-stock situation with a crowd screaming behind them, for the answer to a millennial existential anxiety, for the opportunity to carve themselves a legacy that no one—not even the game’s creator itself—can deny them.

The Melee community won’t last forever. But it doesn’t need to. The memories of the struggles its players have overcome reflect the primary reason they play, above all else: for freedom.

Countdown to The Book of Melee: The Top 100 Melee Sets of All Time (20-11)

Hi, everyone. I’m happy to present my Top 100 Melee Sets of All Time, with today’s focus on the sets ranked 20-11. Here’s a brief FAQ on this project and The Book of Melee.

What is The Book of Melee?

“The Book of Melee” is my upcoming book about the history of the competitive “Super Smash Bros. Melee” community. It follows Melee’s greatest players and leaders through their collective efforts to support the scene’s survival over nearly two decades. I began working on the book in late 2016, and am releasing it for electronic consumption on May 8, 2019. Physical copies are TBA, and currently only available for those who purchased the book for a limited offer on The Big House 8 Compendium. Purchasing a physical copy will be available at a later date.

What is The Top 100 Melee Sets of All Time?

This project is exactly what it sounds like: a recap of my top 100 favorite Melee sets leading up to my book release.

How did you determine the Top 100?

As detailed in my introduction and methodology post, I went through all of Melee history and picked my favorite sets from each year and major tournament. After creating this initial list, I chose to order and cut down what I had selected, based on both the criteria I listed in my previous post and personal taste. Before anyone asks about why “X” wasn’t on the list, chances are that it could have easily made the Top 100, but just wasn’t selected. There were a bit more than 120 sets that I initially listed.

More accurately, the final project could be interpreted as “Edwin’s Top 100 favorite Melee sets of all time.” But I’d like to think that the effort I took into pursuing this project, as well as writing a book about Melee history, would be enough for this list to be somewhat of an authoritative starting resource for any newcomer to the scene, and not just some guy’s opinion.

I’ve never heard of you! What makes you think you’re qualified to determine Melee’s best sets above anyone else?

I’ve been writing about Melee news and Melee history for almost three years. I can’t say that this list is really anything more than just my opinion based on a set of arbitrary criteria that I try to be fair with, but I hope it’s an entertaining and convincing read for anyone interested in Melee.

20. Mew2King vs. DaShizWiz at FAST 1

FAST 1 loser’s finals was dubbed by many Melee players as “the new Ken vs. Bombsoldier.” Even more impressively, it happened just mere months after Brawl’s release. While the stakes were certainly not supermajor-level, this set captivated so many in 2008 – the year in which everyone expected Melee to straight up die. Moreover, it goes to a thrilling, last-stock game five, giving it the slight edge over the sequel. Sorry, Hazz. You were sadly mistaken.

19. Mango vs. Leffen at Apex 2014

Mango might be the hero of this set, but without Leffen’s much-debuted return to America, there’s not as much at stake. The self-prophesized “godslayer” and community villain had already conquered Hungrybox and even took a 2-1 set lead against Mango. It set the stage for a final two games in which Mango carried his self-described nation on his back. The set boasts too many memorable moments, like the National Anthem combo, but what will be remembered above all else is the epic game five, which features my favorite D1 call of all time: “This could be it; THIS IS IT!!!?!?”

18. Mango vs. Armada at MLG Anaheim 2014

In mid-2014, Melee was amid a renaissance. Simply put, there were more tournaments, which led to the community seeing more of its greatest rivalry on the big stage. The winners and grand finals of MLG Anaheim 2014 are two of the premier sets of 2014, as well as a stunning display of what makes Mango vs. Armada such a thrilling rivalry.

17. Armada vs. Mango at Genesis 3

There’s something about the old magic of Genesis; the former guarantee of Mango-Armada grand finals that made it such a legendary series. In fitting fashion for the time, Armada’s path to grands was a relative cakewalk. Meanwhile, Mango had overcome an early loss in winner’s through loser’s bracket. Following a two-game explosive start by Mango, in which he convincingly beat Armada in the Fox ditto, Armada switched to his trademark Peach, officially cementing the same matchup as Genesis 2 grands five years before. The end result is one of the most compelling chapters of their rivalry, and a standing ovation for the long-anticipated return of the Genesis series.

16. Armada vs. PPMD at Apex 2013

When PPMD selected Marth to start grand finals, little did the average viewer know that he had actually been developing a new weapon in the shadows to complement his trademark Falco. Before the set, he told his friend and mentor Cactuar that he wanted to try it out, given how convincingly Armada had already beaten his Falco earlier. Nearly everything about these grand finals is theatric, from the brilliant Marth-Peach play of both players to the huge pop-offs at the end of nearly every game. For years, this was held as the gold standard of Marth-Peach.

15. Mango vs. Mew2King at Pound 3

A common misconception behind Pound 3 is that its grand finals were an anticlimactic slaughter, likely a result of the storied “Arwing Rest” in set two. But in reality, the first set of grand finals absolutely goes down to the wire. The importance of Pound 3 as Melee’s “final” major before the community planned to switch to Brawl also can’t be understated, nor can the fact that Pound 3 was Mango’s first supermajor victory, a cherry on top for the greatest loser’s bracket run of all time. Its whimper of a conclusion – Mew2King dejectedly opting for a Jigglypuff ditto on Brinstar – changes nothing, and in fact added a level of surrealism that in hindsight was the most fitting way for the Golden Age of Melee to finally end.

14. Isai vs. Ken at MOAST 3

A little-known fact about this “Smash Brothers” famous set is the community tragedy leading up to it. In the weekend before the heavily anticipated MOAST 3, the community mourned the death of KishCubed, a member of the legendary Kish brothers. While the documentary portrays this set as a defining moment of Isai’s legacy – and a display of top level Melee that had never been seen before – I can’t help but think of the greater picture of these exceptional sets as beyond the game. It should be remembered in the context of a mourning scene coming together in the wake of loss.

13. Leffen vs. Armada at BEAST V

For Leffen to get the better of Armada every now and then wasn’t a surprise. But earlier at BEAST V, he had already defeated Mango and Armada, now just one set away from winning a multi-god major for the first time. It wouldn’t be easy – as the legendary game four “meditation four-stock” proved, Melee’s final boss was playing on fire. Could Leffen stay cool and finally tear down Melee’s Mount Olympus?

12. PPMD vs. Leffen at Apex 2015

While PPMD-Leffen lore isn’t as well known as other rivalries, there’s a couple of interesting differentiators. Both were top players who had come from weaker regions (North Carolina and Stockholm) to dominate the top level of the metagame. They also were originally Falco players, but now played different characters. What’s especially remarkable, however, is that this set in particular is this the most watched full set of Melee on YouTube. Upon watching it, you can see why. Nearly every match is a slugfest, with bursts of strong play from both sides and a driving narrative of the dominant godslayer – having already checked the last name off his god hotlist – against the resilient, but physically crumbling PPMD standing as the last guardian of the Era of Five Gods in winner’s bracket.

11. Ken vs. Bombsoldier at Jack Garden Tournament

This is the set that launched a new age for the Melee metagame. Whether through Bombsoldier’s devastating combo game, his high-speed lasers, technical brilliance or even Ken unveiling Marth’s chaingrab on Falco as a response, this set is an all time classic. Held between the King of Smash and a then-obscure Japanese farmboy who happened to play like a terminator sent from the future to destroy Ken, it would forever change how people perceived the game’s very limits.

Countdown to The Book of Melee: The Top 100 Melee Sets of All Time (30-21)

Hi, everyone. I’m happy to present my Top 100 Melee Sets of All Time, with today’s focus on the sets ranked 30-21. Here’s a brief FAQ on this project and The Book of Melee.

What is The Book of Melee?

“The Book of Melee” is my upcoming book about the history of the competitive “Super Smash Bros. Melee” community. It follows Melee’s greatest players and leaders through their collective efforts to support the scene’s survival over nearly two decades. I began working on the book in late 2016, and am releasing it for electronic consumption on May 8, 2019. Physical copies are TBA, and currently only available for those who purchased the book for a limited offer on The Big House 8 Compendium. Purchasing a physical copy will be available at a later date.

What is The Top 100 Melee Sets of All Time?

This project is exactly what it sounds like: a recap of my top 100 favorite Melee sets leading up to my book release.

How did you determine the Top 100?

As detailed in my introduction and methodology post, I went through all of Melee history and picked my favorite sets from each year and major tournament. After creating this initial list, I chose to order and cut down what I had selected, based on both the criteria I listed in my previous post and personal taste. Before anyone asks about why “X” wasn’t on the list, chances are that it could have easily made the Top 100, but just wasn’t selected. There were a bit more than 120 sets that I initially listed.

More accurately, the final project could be interpreted as “Edwin’s Top 100 favorite Melee sets of all time.” But I’d like to think that the effort I took into pursuing this project, as well as writing a book about Melee history, would be enough for this list to be somewhat of an authoritative starting resource for any newcomer to the scene, and not just some guy’s opinion.

I’ve never heard of you! What makes you think you’re qualified to determine Melee’s best sets above anyone else?

I’ve been writing about Melee news and Melee history for almost three years. I can’t say that this list is really anything more than just my opinion based on a set of arbitrary criteria that I try to be fair with, but I hope it’s an entertaining and convincing read for anyone interested in Melee.


30. Amsah vs. Ek at Renaissance of Smash 3

In this portion of the list, one filled with gods, demigods and modern greats, the inclusion of a best-of-seven from a pre-Brawl European major may stand out as an odd choice to include. But make no mistake: this set is forever the defining set for both players’ legacies, with each one standing as a separate ruler of Europe during different periods of Melee history. There’s a very good reason why the set’s most famous game is still referred to as The Comeback, above all other ones.

29. Mew2King vs. PPMD at MLG Anaheim 2014

It really felt like Mew2King was never going to beat PPMD. Amid a long losing streak, Mew2King was so desperate for answers against PPMD that he had seriously attempted a Captain Falcon counterpick on FD against PPMD’s Marth, even after blowing him up in game one of Sheik-Falco. The end result is three nail biting games of Sheik-Marth, and an absolutely legendary popoff, as well as another hilarious handshake to add in the PPMD-Mew2King lore.

28. Mango vs. Armada at The Big House 6

Multiple sets of Mango vs. Armada at the same tournament should say it all. This was Mango’s biggest chance to win his first true supermajor since The Big House 4 (and not just a smaller event to feature gods), and for Armada, this was potential redemption for his embarrassing defeat at Evo 2016. This is often forgotten as one of their best duels ever, and it deserves way more recognition as a classic.

27. Axe vs. Silent Wolf at Evo 2014

Here it is: the most viral best of three set in Melee history. Game three is the match that is synonymous with Axe’s legacy. A large factor of this set’s popularity is what it represents: a mid-tier hero facing off against a top-tier talent. Who can forget D1’s immortal words, “is he gonna get it in a minute?”

26. Wobbles vs. Hungrybox at Evo 2013

Here it is, a set that, in my opinion, is the most thrilling Ice Climbers vs. Jigglypuff set of all time (a qualification that sounds absurd at surface level). Wobbles had already slain two gods in his miraculous run to winner’s finals and only one was left in his way. A shining moment of this set is an unbelievable comeback by Wobbles in game two, where he barely avoids being sent to loser’s bracket, and, most surreal of all, has no idea of it.

25. Plup vs. Hungrybox at Genesis 5

The ultimate catharsis of watching the end of grand finals set two can only be understand in the context of set one, in which Hungrybox utterly big-brothers his fellow Floridian. It felt destined to be a repeat of the grand finals at The Big House 7, but this time, Plup awakened in time to show Hungrybox that he wasn’t going down without a fight. Plup’s accomplishments are endless, but this is the set that brought him into immortality.

24. PPMD vs. Mew2King at Revival of Melee 3

Following an early loss to KirbyKaze, PPMD, back then known as Dr. PeePee, tore through the rest of loser’s bracket to face Melee’s longtime elite gatekeeper in grand finals. These two sets are among Melee’s most iconic, be it the legendary “I got 50 on PP” phrase before grand finals, PPMD’s rise from seemingly nowhere to the top echelon, or the legendary final combo on Rainbow Cruise.

23. Zain vs. Hungrybox at Shine 2018

Just under five years after the Smash documentary came out, a player from the newest generation of Smash was facing off against the world No. 1 and one of the five gods of Melee for a major title. I won’t say much more other than that this is the only set I watched in which I popped off so hard that I hit my fist on a chair and began bleeding.

22. Azen vs. Ken at MLG New York 2006

Azen had always been second fiddle to Ken, typically losing his sets against him in heartbreaking ways. In game four, with Ken up three stocks to one, all hope looked lost for the East Coast hero, who seemed destined to lose to his longtime nemesis yet again. But instead of crumbling, Azen stayed cool. Maybe Wife was right this whole time when he referred to the Master of Diversity as “cool as a cucumber.”

21. Mew2King vs. DaShizWiz at Revival of Melee

Other than Mew2King vs. Mango, this matchup was everyone’s most anticipated duel of Revival of Melee: the former world No. 1 against an upcoming Falco star who had already slain two giants in PC Chris and ChuDat earlier in the tournament. The two had already played before, and while Mew2King always won, their battles were always thrilling. While the set is only four games long, and thus I can’t justify putting it above other inclusions on my list, it remains among the most memorable Melee sets ever. Two words: Match 4.

Countdown to The Book of Melee: The Top 100 Melee Sets of All Time (40-31)

Hi, everyone. I’m happy to present my Top 100 Melee Sets of All Time, with today’s focus on the sets ranked 40-31. Here’s a brief FAQ on this project and The Book of Melee.

What is The Book of Melee?

“The Book of Melee” is my upcoming book about the history of the competitive “Super Smash Bros. Melee” community. It follows Melee’s greatest players and leaders through their collective efforts to support the scene’s survival over nearly two decades. I began working on the book in late 2016, and am releasing it for electronic consumption on May 8, 2019. Physical copies are TBA, and currently only available for those who purchased the book for a limited offer on The Big House 8 Compendium. Purchasing a physical copy will be available at a later date.

What is The Top 100 Melee Sets of All Time?

This project is exactly what it sounds like: a recap of my top 100 favorite Melee sets leading up to my book release.

How did you determine the Top 100?

As detailed in my introduction and methodology post, I went through all of Melee history and picked my favorite sets from each year and major tournament. After creating this initial list, I chose to order and cut down what I had selected, based on both the criteria I listed in my previous post and personal taste. Before anyone asks about why “X” wasn’t on the list, chances are that it could have easily made the Top 100, but just wasn’t selected. There were a bit more than 120 sets that I initially listed.

More accurately, the final project could be interpreted as “Edwin’s Top 100 favorite Melee sets of all time.” But I’d like to think that the effort I took into pursuing this project, as well as writing a book about Melee history, would be enough for this list to be somewhat of an authoritative starting resource for any newcomer to the scene, and not just some guy’s opinion.

I’ve never heard of you! What makes you think you’re qualified to determine Melee’s best sets above anyone else?

I’ve been writing about Melee news and Melee history for almost three years. I can’t say that this list is really anything more than just my opinion based on a set of arbitrary criteria that I try to be fair with, but I hope it’s an entertaining and convincing read for anyone interested in Melee.


40. Mew2King vs. Hungrybox at Paragon LA

It’s no secret that Mew2King hates Jigglypuff. And in 2015, pretty much every Mew2King set against Hungrybox would go one of two ways: a heartbreaking choke or a brutally demoralizing slaughter like Paragon Orlando 2015. For the first two games in this particular set, it looked destined to be another of the latter. But keep watching. The ending will knock your pants off.

39. Mew2King vs. Armada at UGC Smash Open

Mew2King isn’t known for his loser’s runs, but he flipped the script at UGC Smash Open. Both sets of the resulting grand finals are still classic Marth-Peach sets at the top level. In my opinion, they also mark a greater turning point for Mew2King against his longtime kryptonite than his 3-0 win at Smash Summit 2. The UGC sets are where he became a sustainable rival capable of beating the Swede at his best, rather than just someone expected to lose 90 percent of the time.

38. Plup vs. Leffen at Evo 2015

Plup started 2015 with a bang by beating Leffen. And for the most part, his year showed promise for a potential entry of yet another “godslayer” to the scene. In this set, two of Melee’s best players of the “post-Five Gods era” battled on the world’s biggest stage, with Plup playing his original main ahead of his new and deadly Sheik. Just watch the first two stocks of game three, where the result is a fully sincere “OH MY GOD!” yell from Scar. It still gives me chills.

37. PPMD vs. Mango at Kings of Cali

It’s tough to envision a time when PPMD wasn’t considered anything less than the most universally supported man in the scene. But in 2012, PPMD was the plucky challenger to Mango’s American throne. In fact, it wasn’t uncommon for people to trash talk PPMD, nor was it out of the ordinary for PPMD to talk shit back. These grand finals are heralded today as the greatest Falco ditto sets of all time, and a huge reason why is because of PPMD’s play under pressure, as well as his unusual master-apprentice relationship with Mango.

36. Plup vs. Armada at The Big House 7

There’s no greater accomplishment within one set than defeating Armada. Up to this point, the longtime “new god” had never beaten him before, but had checked every other “god” name off his list. In order to reach the top of Melee’s Mount Olympus, Plup had to slay the last and greatest colossus. Would he do it, or join yet another long list of players slain at the hands of Armada?

35. Mew2King vs. Hungrybox at CEO Dreamland

Looking back on it, CEO Dreamland was strange as hell. All three of the tournament favorites were sent to loser’s bracket – and to top off the surprises was an excellent run to grand finals from SFAT. Hell, Plup’s Luigi randomly beat Druggedfox, took a game off Mew2King’s Sheik and finished in fifth place. However, this set remains the tournament’s best by a mile. It has one of my favorite commentary moments of all time, my dear Melee Stats friend tafokints losing his cool and yelling “OH SHIT!” right before a crazy conclusion.

34. Hax vs. Mango at Pound 2016

It’s difficult to pick one set from Hax’s Cinderella run at Pound 2016. In the end, I went with his winner’s semifinals match against Mango – the runback of their infamous TBH4 set. This time, it has Mango giving far more respect to his competitor. Instead of either spacie – matchups Hax was particularly well versed in – Mango chose to play Marth, considered back then as a potentially valuable addition to Mango’s roster of characters. This set will keep you glued to your seat until its ridiculous ending.

33. Mango vs. Lucky at The Big House 4

When people ask what set of Melee they should watch first, this is one of the most common answers. It boasts excellent commentary, flashy play from both spacies and an instantly recognizable sense that the players are prioritizing style over play-to-win ruthlessness. Simply put, this set embodies a lot of why people love Melee.

32. Wizzrobe vs. Zain at Genesis 5

It’s absolutely not too soon to call this set a classic. Featuring two of the “future gods” of Melee – players who have risen up to the challenge of combating Melee’s long-established “gods” and “godslayers” – this set also has both of them go toe-to-toe, blood-for-blood and blow-by-blow at a uniquely high level with their respective characters. An especially wild game left the set’s normally stoic victor temporarily passed out in his chair.

31. Hax vs. Westballz at Super Nebulous 4

Arguably no two modern players are more directly synonymous with pushing the technical limits of their characters more than Hax and Westballz, both heroes of their respective coasts and spacies. Their set at this Tristate regional – especially hyped up because Hax was coming back after long-documented physical injuries and insomnia started to threaten his career – is speed in a time capsule. It may not hold supermajor-level stakes, but the sheer technical brilliance of both players and the grassroots entertainment value of its commentary solidifies it as an all-time great for the scene.

Countdown to The Book of Melee: The Top 100 Melee Sets of All Time (50-41)

Hi, everyone. I’m happy to present my Top 100 Melee Sets of All Time, with today’s focus on the sets ranked 50-41. Here’s a brief FAQ on this project and The Book of Melee.

What is The Book of Melee?

“The Book of Melee” is my upcoming book about the history of the competitive “Super Smash Bros. Melee” community. It follows Melee’s greatest players and leaders through their collective efforts to support the scene’s survival over nearly two decades. I began working on the book in late 2016, and am releasing it for electronic consumption on May 8, 2019. Physical copies are TBA, and currently only available for those who purchased the book for a limited offer on The Big House 8 Compendium. Purchasing a physical copy will be available at a later date.

What is The Top 100 Melee Sets of All Time?

This project is exactly what it sounds like: a recap of my top 100 favorite Melee sets leading up to my book release.

How did you determine the Top 100?

As detailed in my introduction and methodology post, I went through all of Melee history and picked my favorite sets from each year and major tournament. After creating this initial list, I chose to order and cut down what I had selected, based on both the criteria I listed in my previous post and personal taste. Before anyone asks about why “X” wasn’t on the list, chances are that it could have easily made the Top 100, but just wasn’t selected. There were a bit more than 120 sets that I initially listed.

More accurately, the final project could be interpreted as “Edwin’s Top 100 favorite Melee sets of all time.” But I’d like to think that the effort I took into pursuing this project, as well as writing a book about Melee history, would be enough for this list to be somewhat of an authoritative starting resource for any newcomer to the scene, and not just some guy’s opinion.

I’ve never heard of you! What makes you think you’re qualified to determine Melee’s best sets above anyone else?

I’ve been writing about Melee news and Melee history for almost three years. I can’t say that this list is really anything more than just my opinion based on a set of arbitrary criteria that I try to be fair with, but I hope it’s an entertaining and convincing read for anyone interested in Melee.


50. Ken vs. PC Chris at MLG Anaheim 2006

In one corner was the New York spacie who conquered Ken earlier in the year. In the other corner was the King of Smash himself. PC had already won New York Opener, but Ken came back at MLG Dallas with a more defensive and patient gameplan. At MLG Anaheim, the two would settle the score and fight in two of Melee’s most epic sets of the era.

49. Mango vs. Hax at The Big House 4

This set isn’t up here because it’s a particularly close one, or because it’s a display of great Melee from both sides. The sheer exposure of this set, which has hundreds of thousands of views today, along with the storylines of Hax quitting Captain Falcon, Mango’s differing opinions on character viability from Hax, the legendary commentary and more make it a classic for any newcomer to the scene.

48. PPMD vs. Hungrybox at Pound V

Were it not for another couple of PPMD sets at this tournament, this would be remembered as the defining set of Pound V. For a long time during his rise to prominence, PPMD’s thorn in his side was Hungrybox, a fellow Atlantic South competitor. PPMD had begun beating him a year prior, but he needed to do it again at Pound if he wanted his rematch with Armada.

47. Mango vs. Hungrybox at GOML 2014

For yet another set with Hungrybox, this is one that also goes under the radar. During a time when Mango would routinely farm Hungrybox with ease, this was one of the sets where the Floridian began to slowly earn Mango’s respect. If there’s any game in this set to especially check out, it’s the last one.

46. Hungrybox vs. PPMD at The Big House 3

Where do we start? Is it PPMD’s explosive start which made the set’s conclusion look definite? Is it Hungrybox rapping along to Yeezus and PPMD jabbering back at him? Or how about younger but more unrestrained versions of Scar and Toph laying the gold standard for post-documentary era commentary in this set? Call the play within it sloppy all you want; the sheer theatrics and spectator-friendliness of everything else made it an easy addition to the list, and the last Hungrybox addition to this portion of the Top 100 Melee Sets of All Time.

45. Hungrybox vs. Armada at GT-X 2017

Psych! In two sets reminiscent of a certain other grand finals, Hungrybox claws his way back from loser’s bracket to take on the Evo champion and presumed world’s best player. The ending to set two is still a must-watch.

44. Mew2King vs. Armada at SKTAR 3

For years, the prospect of an Armada victory eluded Mew2King, often in painful ways for the latter. At Genesis, Armada clutched out a 2-1 victory, only to follow up the set with another 2-1 victory at Pound 4 and pull Mew2King’s heart from his chest via a last-stock stitchface to edge him out 3-2 at Apex 2010. And at Evo 2013, concluded by one of the most infamous last-stock SDs ever, Mew2King blew a big lead to lose game one before falling apart in game two. Now at SKTAR 3, Armada’s return to the United States, with Armada up two stocks to one against Mew2King’s Fox at high percent, Mew2King needed to play perfect to stand a chance against his longtime kryptonite.

43. PPMD vs. Mew2King at Zenith 2012

Before PPMD had become the wise old sage we all know and love today, he was a plucky upstart who engaged in cringeworthy trash talk with Armada on Smashboards, picked up a few prideful mannerisms from Mango and even carried a deep sense of resentment for crowds that rooted against him. Since his Pound V victory, he had gone from being a community hero to having a target on his back. At Zenith 2012, he and Mew2King would take turns destroying each other, as they battled in three of Melee’s most thrilling and legendary sets ever. Its conclusion – specifically the cathartic popoff from its victory – remains legendary.

42. Hungrybox vs. Leffen at Genesis 5

We weren’t done with the Hungrybox sets, but all I’ll say is that heading into their first set at this event, the two had built up months of mutual trash talk and dislike for one another, though mostly from Leffen’s end. Not only are the sets thrilling and stakes high in each one, but the pride on the line for both smashers was ridiculously high. “It’s time to save Melee,” and “this is what I came here for” remain some of the best pre-game trash talk for a tournament set ever.

41. Armada vs. Mew2King at Genesis

If there was any set that launched the legend of Armada, it was this one. Leading up to this point, Armada had already vastly exceeded expectations by slaying strong West Coast players, let alone defeating DaShizWiz in winner’s quarters. Surely, it was this set in which Mew2King, a former world champion of Melee, would finally put an end to Armada’s winner’s bracket run. As Scar put it a decade later, if Mew2King’s legendary Marth couldn’t stop Armada’s Peach, it meant that smashers had fundamentally misunderstood Melee – or at least that they had so much more to learn.

Countdown to The Book of Melee: The Top 100 Melee Sets of All Time (60-51)

Hi, everyone. I’m happy to present my Top 100 Melee Sets of All Time, with today’s focus on the sets ranked 60-51. Here’s a brief FAQ on this project and The Book of Melee.

What is The Book of Melee?

“The Book of Melee” is my upcoming book about the history of the competitive “Super Smash Bros. Melee” community. It follows Melee’s greatest players and leaders through their collective efforts to support the scene’s survival over nearly two decades. I began working on the book in late 2016, and am releasing it for electronic consumption on May 8, 2019. Physical copies are TBA, and currently only available for those who purchased the book for a limited offer on The Big House 8 Compendium. Purchasing a physical copy will be available at a later date.

What is The Top 100 Melee Sets of All Time?

This project is exactly what it sounds like: a recap of my top 100 favorite Melee sets leading up to my book release.

How did you determine the Top 100?

As detailed in my introduction and methodology post, I went through all of Melee history and picked my favorite sets from each year and major tournament. After creating this initial list, I chose to order and cut down what I had selected, based on both the criteria I listed in my previous post and personal taste. Before anyone asks about why “X” wasn’t on the list, chances are that it could have easily made the Top 100, but just wasn’t selected. There were a bit more than 120 sets that I initially listed.

More accurately, the final project could be interpreted as “Edwin’s Top 100 favorite Melee sets of all time.” But I’d like to think that the effort I took into pursuing this project, as well as writing a book about Melee history, would be enough for this list to be somewhat of an authoritative starting resource for any newcomer to the scene, and not just some guy’s opinion.

I’ve never heard of you! What makes you think you’re qualified to determine Melee’s best sets above anyone else?

I’ve been writing about Melee news and Melee history for almost three years. I can’t say that this list is really anything more than just my opinion based on a set of arbitrary criteria that I try to be fair with, but I hope it’s an entertaining and convincing read for anyone interested in Melee.

60. Armada vs. Mew2King at Pound 4

The Swedish Sniper was still a relative newcomer to the forefront of Melee, having taken the community by storm at Genesis. At Pound 4, SilentSpectre sent him to loser’s bracket early, only for Armada to claw his way to top eight. Finally, for a relatively early loser’s quarters matchup, he faced off against the former world champion, just as determined to prove that their previous set was no fluke.

59. Hungrybox vs. Mango at Shine 2017

It’s stunning that this grand finals isn’t typically recognized as one of the best matches of 2017. Both of Mango’s spacies are playing hot, and you can tell that even he knew it too. So would a slumping Hungrybox, fresh off major losses to Leffen, Mew2King, Mango and Plup, once again be run over? Or would this be the victory he needed to halt his sharp decline?

58. aMSa vs. Mew2King at Kings of Cali 4

No low tier player had ever defeated a god. But aMSa had come pretty damn close at Evo 2013, where he posed an early challenge for Mew2King. In the rematch at Kings of Cali 4, the low tier hero sought to finish what he started.

57. KoreanDJ vs. Ken at MLG Las Vegas 2006

Ken’s hold on Melee was slipping. The King of Smash had only won Zero Challenge 2 in recent memory and lost more sets in the past few months than he had for seemingly forever. One loss was at the hand of KoreanDJ at MLG Orlando 2006. Their rematch in Vegas came down to its very last stock, and featuring the man who practically invented Sheik’s punish game (before Mew2King revamped it) against the ruler of Melee, it was a massive turning point for the scene.

56. Armada vs. Mango at Smash Summit

Following his relatively underwhelming performance at The Big House 5, Mango felt doubt about himself for the first time ever. Meanwhile, Armada had only become more dominant as the year progressed. Their journeys to Smash Summit grand finals were also entirely different. Armada’s trademark Peach was expectedly present, but Mango’s Falco – which he said he would play throughout Summit – survived several ups and downs to barely edge his way there. This set has several momentum shifts, and from its beginning to the embrace the two share at the end, it’s a classic.

55. Mew2King vs. Mango at Apex 2013

Melee hadn’t quite made it back to Evo yet, but the scene collectively knew that the donation drive could change the fate of the community forever. What better time was there for classic set between the two storied rivals? In this set, the longtime Mango-punching bag Mew2King, already with a victory over Mango earlier in winner’s bracket, sought to eliminate him from a major for the first time ever.

54. PC Chris vs. Ken at MLG New York Opener 2006

Nobody just double eliminates Ken. Well, maybe Isai if he was playing well, but that was a rarity. Even Bombsoldier couldn’t slay the King of Smash. But in the wake of Ken’s confirmation as a national champion, an unlikely savior from Port Chester, New York rose up as Ken’s next challenge. He would officially be the face of a new generation of smashers that stood as the rebellion to Ken’s rule over the scene.

53. PPMD vs. Armada at Smasher’s Reunion

What’s better than 3 PPMD-Armada games? 4? 5? How about 7? Leading up to Norway’s biggest Melee event, Armada hadn’t lost a set in Europe since his rise to the top of the continent. Watch what the American invader has in store for him in the final game – and then ignore the set after.

52. Kage vs. Mango at Revival of Melee 2

Mango was unstoppable in 2009. In the rare occasion of a loss, he’d either come back and humiliate the player that beat him or everyone would laugh away the result as Mango sandbagging. So what exactly made this dorky Canadian Ganondorf such a pesky opponent? The world may never know, from the infamous rage quit in set one to the Forward Air Heard Around The World in set two and the final seven words of the match’s victor.

51. Armada vs. S2J

Out of all opponents to potentially threaten Armada, who would have thought that it would be S2J early in winner’s bracket? Boosted by an audience that gasped and screamed at every combo extension he deployed, S2J wasn’t just playing with the will to win; he was fighting with a fire that even the greatest Melee god couldn’t put out. Tens of thousands of smashers watched from their bedrooms as S2J and Armada battled to a last-stock game three, the latter on the surreal brink of a 3-0 defeat. Suddenly, S2J hit Armada with a soft reverse upair at moderately high percent. And with thousands of wild smashers in the venue screaming their lungs out, S2J went for a set-ending knee, blissfully oblivious to the fact it would miss by just a few frames, destined to be followed up by a thrilling comeback by Armada and eventually immortalized as a tragic snapshot of what could have been.

Countdown to The Book of Melee: The Top 100 Melee Sets of All Time (70-61)

Hi, everyone. I’m happy to present my Top 100 Melee Sets of All Time, with today’s focus on the sets ranked 70-61. Here’s a brief FAQ on this project and The Book of Melee.

What is The Book of Melee?

“The Book of Melee” is my upcoming book about the history of the competitive “Super Smash Bros. Melee” community. It follows Melee’s greatest players and leaders through their collective efforts to support the scene’s survival over nearly two decades. I began working on the book in late 2016, and am releasing it for electronic consumption on May 8, 2019. Physical copies are TBA, and currently only available for those who purchased the book for a limited offer on The Big House 8 Compendium. Purchasing a physical copy will be available at a later date.

What is The Top 100 Melee Sets of All Time?

This project is exactly what it sounds like: a recap of my top 100 favorite Melee sets leading up to my book release.

How did you determine the Top 100?

As detailed in my introduction and methodology post, I went through all of Melee history and picked my favorite sets from each year and major tournament. After creating this initial list, I chose to order and cut down what I had selected, based on both the criteria I listed in my previous post and personal taste. Before anyone asks about why “X” wasn’t on the list, chances are that it could have easily made the Top 100, but just wasn’t selected. There were a bit more than 120 sets that I initially listed.

More accurately, the final project could be interpreted as “Edwin’s Top 100 favorite Melee sets of all time.” But I’d like to think that the effort I took into pursuing this project, as well as writing a book about Melee history, would be enough for this list to be somewhat of an authoritative starting resource for any newcomer to the scene, and not just some guy’s opinion.

I’ve never heard of you! What makes you think you’re qualified to determine Melee’s best sets above anyone else?

I’ve been writing about Melee news and Melee history for almost three years. I can’t say that this list is really anything more than just my opinion based on a set of arbitrary criteria that I try to be fair with, but I hope it’s an entertaining and convincing read for anyone interested in Melee.

70. Zain vs. Rishi at The Big House 8

For years, PPMD and Mew2King were considered the closest players to having “solved” the Marth ditto. But Zain and Rishi, bolstered by years of practice and competition between the two, have pushed elements of the Marth ditto meta into heights rarely, if ever, before seen. In this set, the two friends, rivals, and Marth compatriots put on quite a show, with a terrific game four decided by one miraculous reversal.

69. Leffen vs. Axe at Flatiron 3

The godslayer and the longtime Pikachu hero are two of Melee’s biggest fan favorites, but they’re also heated rivals. Though Leffen has typically gotten the better hand throughout their history, Axe remains a threatening opponent for the godslayer. Following a forgettable performance in their winner’s finals match, Axe goes ten games deep against the tournament favorite in grand finals.

68. Armada vs. Wizzrobe at Smash Summit 5

The start of this set is completely unexpected. Wizzrobe bodies Armada so hard throughout the first two games that you can feel the commentator’s disbelief and confusion within their words. But, like all sets with Armada, you can never really count him out. Were it not for another set with the Swede against a Captain Falcon earlier that year, this would be remembered way more and given the recognition it deserves as an all-time classic.

67. Fly Amanita vs. Silent Wolf at Kings of Cali 3

A common misconception about Fly Amanita is that he refused to wobble out of integrity. In fact, part of why Fly used handoffs and focused in other areas of the Ice Climbers metagame was because he couldn’t consistently wobble in tourney. Regardless, playing in his home region and in the middle of an epic loser’s run, Fly Amanita found himself in a deep hole against Silent Wolf, with one Climber, one stock and one final match to determine his fate.

66. Armada vs. Hungrybox at Pound V

Just when you thought you had seen it all, Armada picked a low tier against the Apex 2010 champion. The sheer unexpectedness of this counterpick and shellshocked reactions of Swiftbass and D1 make watching this set entertaining to this day. It may not be as grueling as their hour-long grind at Apex 2012, nor as established as their Genesis 2 set (dubbed by HomeMadeWaffles as “the wackest fucking set in the world”). Hell, it’s not as absurd as when Hungrybox tried to counterpick Ness at Apex 2013, but the historic significance of this set made it a well-earned inclusion.

65. Mango vs. Plup at Smash Summit 2

By this time, Plup had all but joined the ranks of the elite. And in this set, the Florida Sheik dominated Mango for stretches. But in classic Mango fashion, the Norwalk hero always struck back just as hard. And on game five, playing on Pokémon Stadium, with Plup playing some of his finest Melee of the year, Mango found himself falling behind. Could he make the comeback?

64. Mew2King vs. ChuDat at Zenith 2012

Following years of local inactivity, national inconsistency and time away from serious Melee competition, ChuDat came out of nowhere at Zenith 2012. Starting with slaying Hungrybox early at the event, Chu blitzed through the rest of bracket, turning the clock back and facing off against a man whom he typically beat in their respective primes. The timelessness of both Chu and Mew2King, as well as the thrilling Melee played in this set, ensure its spot on the list.

63. Armada vs. Hungrybox at Smash Summit 6

Hungrybox had been sent to loser’s bracket early, but he tore through most of his opponents on his way to loser’s semifinals. Armada too had been sent early to loser’s, but had looked a little more vulnerable and was amid a five set losing streak against Hungrybox, the only player in Melee history to ever truly make Armada look so lost for as many sets. Not necessarily playing his best and facing off versus the man who stole his throne, would Armada restore his honor or succumb again?

62. Wizzrobe vs. Hungrybox at OpTic Arena

If you’ve watched enough Hungrybox sets against players underneath the gods, you’ll know how it goes: a close heartbreaker set one into a more deflating followup where Hungrybox obliterates them. Wizzrobe is one of the few exceptions to this rule. At the Texas regional, Wizzrobe and Hungrybox engaged in three stellar sets where the 20GX hero proved not just that he wouldn’t go down without a fight, but that he himself could destroy the best player in the world.

61. PPMD vs. Mew2King at Xanadu: Harlem Shake Edition

Mew2King was considered unbeatable in Marth dittos until PPMD trounced him, 3-0. Just as hard however, Mew2King responded thunderously in grand finals, where his Sheik brutally 3-0’d PPMD’s Marth right back. Fighting the temptation of picking Falco, PPMD stayed determined in their third set and stuck with Marth against the man who not only knew the same character inside out, but also how to destroy him. Legend has it that PPMD was so annoyed about Mew2King and other members of the community attributing his own success to Falco that he called his shot beforehand, telling Mew2King before the event that he was going to play Marth, and that he wanted to test himself against Mew2King in both the ditto and against his Sheik.

Countdown to The Book of Melee: The Top 100 Melee Sets of All Time (80-71)

Hi, everyone. I’m happy to present my Top 100 Melee Sets of All Time, with today’s focus on the sets ranked 80-71. Here’s a brief FAQ on this project and The Book of Melee.

What is The Book of Melee?

“The Book of Melee” is my upcoming book about the history of the competitive “Super Smash Bros. Melee” community. It follows Melee’s greatest players and leaders through their collective efforts to support the scene’s survival over nearly two decades. I began working on the book in late 2016, and am releasing it for electronic consumption on May 8, 2019. Physical copies are TBA, and currently only available for those who purchased the book for a limited offer on The Big House 8 Compendium. Purchasing a physical copy will be available at a later date.

What is The Top 100 Melee Sets of All Time?

This project is exactly what it sounds like: a recap of my top 100 favorite Melee sets leading up to my book release.

How did you determine the Top 100?

As detailed in my introduction and methodology post, I went through all of Melee history and picked my favorite sets from each year and major tournament. After creating this initial list, I chose to order and cut down what I had selected, based on both the criteria I listed in my previous post and personal taste. Before anyone asks about why “X” wasn’t on the list, chances are that it could have easily made the Top 100, but just wasn’t selected. There were a bit more than 120 sets that I initially listed.

More accurately, the final project could be interpreted as “Edwin’s Top 100 favorite Melee sets of all time.” But I’d like to think that the effort I took into pursuing this project, as well as writing a book about Melee history, would be enough for this list to be somewhat of an authoritative starting resource for any newcomer to the scene, and not just some guy’s opinion.

I’ve never heard of you! What makes you think you’re qualified to determine Melee’s best sets above anyone else?

I’ve been writing about Melee news and Melee history for almost three years. I can’t say that this list is really anything more than just my opinion based on a set of arbitrary criteria that I try to be fair with, but I hope it’s an entertaining and convincing read for anyone interested in Melee.

80. Hungrybox vs. SFAT at Press Start

If any tournament in Melee history confirmed that the Era of Five Gods was all but over, it was Press Start, which featured no gods in winner’s side of its top eight. But it was this set, one that featured a god, that stood out as its most memorable moment. Though all five games are worth watching, it’s the last one, in which an explosive start from the NorCal hero is met by a ferocious comeback from a standing Hungrybox. To this day, the set’s penultimate moment, when SFAT rises from his chair to match his sweating, desperate opponent still gives me goosebumps.

79. Jiano vs. ChuDat at Pound 2

Jiano’s run to winner’s finals at Pound 2 came with a bit of bracket luck, but it still was among the least predictable performances in Melee history. His bout with the longtime regional antihero ChuDat is one of the craziest ever, with a four-stock from Chu to start the set and a huge three-stock comeback from Jiano in game four standing out as highlights. Be sure to check out the last game also.

78. Rishi vs. lloD at The Big House 8

Rishi, the Artist Formerly Known as Smash G0D, has more than his fair share of nail biter sets. lloD is among Melee’s most notable players over the last two years and is one of few Peach mains who can claim a right to individual recognition for character contributions separate of Armada. With the two’s status as rising Smash stars, brothers, former in-region rivals, and modern representatives of their characters, they have had several back-and-forth sets over the last few years. But it’s this one, which has a brilliant last-stock comeback in its final game, that will be especially remembered forever.

77. S2J vs. Mew2King at Shine 2017

The same way Darkrain was a character icon throughout the 2000s, S2J has been this decade’s most consistent Falcon player. For years, the prospect of defeating a Melee god eluded him, and S2J’s history of taking them close goes back many years. I will never forget what it felt like to watch this set live in a wild venue, and to join hundreds, if not thousands, of viewers jumping out of our seats when the Stadium combo happened.

76. Ken vs. Mango at Evo 2007

Jigglypuff had a few strong representatives but no one brought her to the forefront of the scene quite like Mango, who stunned the world at Evo with his underdog run. Following the shocking end of their winner’s set, when the two played again in loser’s bracket for a spot in grand finals, the result was far more convincing.

75. Mango vs. Shroomed at Royal Flush

The greatest trick the devil pulled wasn’t convincing people he didn’t exist – it was convincing nearly every Melee fan to sleep on The Kid. Already sent to loser’s by his chief rival, down 2-0 against Shroomed playing some of the best Melee of his life, and with his back to the wall, Mango woke up.

74. Mango vs. aMSa at Full Bloom 4

Following his breakout ninth place at Apex 2014 and followup fifth place at Apex 2015, aMSa still had his fair share of doubters. By 2018, however, he was more than established as among the next line of players to threaten the Big Six. At Full Bloom 4, one of the most promising large annual tourney series of the current Melee era, he and Mango had one of the best sets of the year, and a wild ending.

73. Abate vs. S2J at The Big House 5

Save for New York City and Hax, there’s no region that loves its signature representative as much as Pittsburgh loves Abate. Boosted by the Midwest home field advantage and hot off a tournament run in which he already beat Axe, Abate went the distance against the stoic and well-respected S2J. In a set filled with momentum shifts of both players dominating each other, its ending may be the most simultaneously exciting, stupid, anti-climatic, and hilarious moment in Melee history.

72. Zain vs. Leffen at Smash ’N’ Splash 3

Before the jokes about dashing back, downthrow downtilting spacies by the corner and pivoting after every move, Zain was a local legend and fan favorite that somehow defeated Plup in a best-of-three The Big House 6. But it was this set, in which the future Shine champion was already facing off against the fearsome godslayer, that he showed the world that he was here to stay in the national spotlight.

71. aMSa vs. Hungrybox at Smash Summit 6

There is no Yoshi main like aMSa in all of Melee history. For a Yoshi player to challenge the world’s most dominant smasher would have been unthinkable years ago. But aMSa denies the odds. This set is not one for the faint of heart, and it’s among the most grueling, suspenseful and exhausting, but the historical significance and payoff is more than worth a watch, especially when the set reaches its epic resolution.

Countdown To The Book of Melee: The Top 100 Melee Sets of All Time (90-81)

Hi, everyone. I’m happy to present my Top 100 Melee Sets of All Time, with today’s focus on the sets ranked 90-81. Here’s a brief FAQ on this project and The Book of Melee.

What is The Book of Melee?

“The Book of Melee” is my upcoming book about the history of the competitive “Super Smash Bros. Melee” community. It follows Melee’s greatest players and leaders through their collective efforts to support the scene’s survival over nearly two decades. I began working on the book in late 2016, and am releasing it for electronic consumption on May 8, 2019. Physical copies are TBA, and currently only available for those who purchased the book for a limited offer on The Big House 8 Compendium. Purchasing a physical copy will be available at a later date.

What is The Top 100 Melee Sets of All Time?

This project is exactly what it sounds like: a recap of my top 100 favorite Melee sets leading up to my book release.

How did you determine the Top 100?

As detailed in my introduction and methodology post, I went through all of Melee history and picked my favorite sets from each year and major tournament. After creating this initial list, I chose to order and cut down what I had selected, based on both the criteria I listed in my previous post and personal taste. Before anyone asks about why “X” wasn’t on the list, chances are that it could have easily made the Top 100, but just wasn’t selected. There were a bit more than 120 sets that I initially listed.

More accurately, the final project could be interpreted as “Edwin’s Top 100 favorite Melee sets of all time.” But I’d like to think that the effort I took into pursuing this project, as well as writing a book about Melee history, would be enough for this list to be somewhat of an authoritative starting resource for any newcomer to the scene, and not just some guy’s opinion.

I’ve never heard of you! What makes you think you’re qualified to determine Melee’s best sets above anyone else?

I’ve been writing about Melee news and Melee history for almost three years. I can’t say that this list is really anything more than just my opinion based on a set of arbitrary criteria that I try to be fair with, but I hope it’s an entertaining and convincing read for anyone interested in Melee.


90. PewPewU vs. Mango at NCR 2013

PewPewU has been a longtime Melee fan favorite, from once being dubbed as “the best Marth since Ken” to shocking the world with his upset over Hungrybox at Apex 2015. But out of the many PewPewU sets considered for the list, it was this one, where he faced off against Melee’s most beloved player, that stood out as one of his most memorable. Here’s another fun fact about NCR that makes it even more legendary: this was the first significant tournament in which Scar and Toph commentated together.

89. Silent Wolf vs. Druggedfox at HTC Throwdown

This losers semifinals set was among the most unexpected matchups at a national. Silent Wolf had made it this far after beating Mew2King, while Druggedfox had sent Mango to loser’s bracket and also edged out 3-2 victories over Colbol and SFAT, notably popping off at the heavily West Coast crowd after the latter set. This set is among the most under appreciated and incredible of 2015, with two god-slaying titans butting heads in their best matchups.

88. Mango vs. SilentSpectre at SCSA WCC

It was just a decade ago when NorCal and SoCal had the most heated regional rivalry in Melee. There were so many Mango vs. SilentSpectre sets to choose from, but nothing stood out as much as their epic clash at the same tournament of Wombo Combo. Between Mango proving to his doubters that his other characters were not far behind his Jigglypuff, the crowd-pleasing style of SilentSpectre and the legendary HomeMadeWaffles/Phil commentary duo, this set is a must-watch for anyone who loves good old-fashioned, grassroots regional lore. Warning: much like every other older era Melee set, the language used within it is outdated and not acceptable by modern standards.

87. Jman vs. Darkrain at Event 52

A much forgotten set among newer Melee players, this is still one for the record books. Jman had slowly been on the rise in Tristate and was the only player in his region to take a set off Mew2King, while Darkrain was a member of the elite Captain Falcon trio (Scar and SilentSpectre were his contemporaries) and had actually defeated PC Chris at Pound 3 a year prior. Its controversial ending remains one of Melee’s most infamous.

86. Zhu vs. SilentSpectre at Mango Juice

Zhu has been on the receiving end of many classic Melee moments, be it Wombo Combo or the JV4 against Mango’s Falcon. But at Mango Juice, he would harness his hatred for Falcon and countless sets of being beaten around by Mango’s secondaries in order to seek his revenge against the man who kneed him into meme-immortality. And what happens after the set; well, without spoiling it, let’s just say this would never happen for the fans today.

85. Hax vs. Kalamazhu at The Big House 4

Months before The Big House 4, Kalamazhu had been spotted scribbling in a notebook while watching Armada play Peach. At The Big House 4, Kalamazhu’s efforts were shown to pay off, as he blitzed through players like Lucky and KirbyKaze to face off against Hax, a longtime scene demigod now sporting a deadly Fox. Surrounded by a wild Michigan and pro-Kalamazhu crowd, the two would battle to the very bitter end, with its winner making top eight by the skin of his teeth.

84. n0ne vs. Mew2King at GOML 2016

Countless dead Captain Falcon mains lay in the trail of Mew2King’s career. And at this point, n0ne was a fan favorite known for his flashy combos, but ranked outside the Top 50 of the previous year. He was among Melee’s fastest improving players, but this was surefire defeat, playing a Melee god in one of his most feared matchups. Or was it?

83. Leffen vs. Westballz at BEAST 6

There’s practically no matchup like Fox vs. Falco in Melee, and the winners set between the two epitomizes the speed, technical skill and mental fortitude you need to play that matchup at the highest level. And with both player’s penchant for shittalk, particular on each other, and their disrespectful theatrics in the second set, which included Westballz picking Samus out of complete apathy toward Leffen and the two sarcastically patting each other on the back, their matches at BEAST 6 are among the scene’s most recognizable.

82. Armada vs. Hax at Justice 4

Hax promised a future of 20XX, where Fox would rule the metagame and overpower all other characters. At Justice 4, with a wild New York crowd treating him like the second coming of Jesus, against Armada, the longtime Melee god, Hax would play the best he had ever played up to that point. Would it be enough to defeat the unstoppable wall of Armada?

81. DaShizWiz vs. Falcomist at CGC

Legend has it that after much online back-and-forth between Shiz and West Coast smashers, the latter group decided to see if the Florida Falco could live up to his boasts. Raising community funds to fly Shiz out to NorCal, the scene was rewarded with a 15–game barnburner between Shiz and Falcomist, the defender of NorCal. Although it may not be the first set you think of with Shiz against a Marth, it’s highly worth checking out if you consider yourself a true Melee fan.

Countdown To The Book of Melee: The Top 100 Melee Sets of All Time (100-91)

Hi, everyone. I’m happy to present my Top 100 Melee Sets of All Time, with today’s focus on the sets ranked 100-91. Here’s a brief FAQ on this project and The Book of Melee.

What is The Book of Melee?

“The Book of Melee” is my upcoming book about the history of the competitive “Super Smash Bros. Melee” community. It follows Melee’s greatest players and leaders through their collective efforts to support the scene’s survival over nearly two decades. I began working on the book in late 2016, and am releasing it for electronic consumption on May 8, 2019. Physical copies are TBA, and currently only available for those who purchased the book for a limited offer on The Big House 8 Compendium. Purchasing a physical copy will be available at a later date.

What is The Top 100 Melee Sets of All Time?

This project is exactly what it sounds like: a recap of my top 100 favorite Melee sets leading up to my book release.

How did you determine the Top 100?

As detailed in my introduction and methodology post, I went through all of Melee history and picked my favorite sets from each year and major tournament. After creating this initial list, I chose to order and cut down what I had selected, based on both the criteria I listed in my previous post and personal taste. Before anyone asks about why “X” wasn’t on the list, chances are that it could have easily made the Top 100, but just wasn’t selected. There were a bit more than 120 sets that I initially listed.

More accurately, the final project could be interpreted as “Edwin’s Top 100 favorite Melee sets of all time.” But I’d like to think that the effort I took into pursuing this project, as well as writing a book about Melee history, would be enough for this list to be somewhat of an authoritative starting resource for any newcomer to the scene, and not just some guy’s opinion.

I’ve never heard of you! What makes you think you’re qualified to determine Melee’s best sets above anyone else?

I’ve been writing about Melee news and Melee history for almost three years. I can’t say that this list is really anything more than just my opinion based on a set of arbitrary criteria that I try to be fair with, but I hope it’s an entertaining and convincing read for anyone interested in Melee.


100. Azen vs. CaptainJack at Tournament Go 6

By modern standards, the gameplay of the two in this set isn’t anything special. But back in 2004, TG6 was the first event that came close to resembling an international championship. That its finals had Azen, the king of the East Coast and Master of Diversity, against CaptainJack, a member of the Japanese elite and whose skills were of urban legend, makes it that much more memorable. Even back then, with such a small and young scene, the people watching this set knew how much lay on the line.

99. Leffen vs. Druggedfox at Evo 2015

In the summer of 2015, Leffen was close to untouchable. Before Evo, he had won three consecutive major events in three weekends. However, at Evo, he’d become part of the legend of Druggedfox , a then-nationally-unknown Georgia legend who was known for his tech chasing and punish game-heavy Sheik. Sadly, this set isn’t currently available in its entirety on YouTube, but it remains one of Melee’s best ever; particularly with its second game having one of my favorite commentary calls of all time. You can watch the rest of it here.

98. Scar vs. Ken at Kings of Cali 2

The Melee scene underwent a revival in mid-2013 because of the game’s return to the Evo spotlight. So what happened when the King of Smash showed reluctance in actually attending Evo 2013? The most electrifying man in Melee himself challenged him to a best-of-seven, in which Ken would have to attend Evo if he lost. With over three hundred thousand views today, and grassroots Mango/Crimson Blur commentary, this set is a must watch for all Melee fans. Would Scar get redemption for his failed previous exhibition match against Bob$ and defeat the King of Smash or would Ken prevail and disgrace the People’s Champ?

97. ChuDat vs. HugS at Evo 2015

Just under a decade after their respective primes, HugS and ChuDat were battling for a supermajor top eight. Notably before the event, Melee Hell, a now controversial Melee “shitposting” group had funded Chu’s trip to Evo, causing some, including HugS himself, to be skeptical of the funding efforts to bring Chu, especially due to Chu’s slight decline in attendance at major tournaments. Between the two’s standings in the Melee community, their personal rivalry and fellow MLG era contemporaries Husband and Wife on commentary, this set reflects Melee’s timeless brilliance. Much like the other early Evo 2015, it’s sadly not fully available on YouTube, but it remains a classic.

96. Mew2King vs. Leffen at PAX Prime 2015

Following Leffen’s brutal 3-0 and 3-1 victories over his former kryptonite Mew2King at Super Smash Con, it seemed as if the godslayer had finally solved The Robot. Leffen sure as hell seemed to believe it when following his victory, he joked about the difficulty of “not three-stocking Mew2King.” This set is what happens when you awaken a sleeping giant. Though the quality of Melee isn’t particularly up to par from Leffen, the moments of Mew2King brilliance, screaming from D1 and Blur and context surrounding this match makes it a fan favorite to this day.

95. Plup vs. Mew2King at the Battle of Five Gods

There are a few axioms of competitive Melee: one of them used to be that you should never challenge Mew2King in a Sheik ditto. In fact before this match, Plup had actually tried fighting him with Samus due to Mew2King’s featured reputation in the former matchup. Mew2King has even selected Plup as his preferred opponent for the first round of bracket, presumably seeing him as the “obvious” choice out of the qualifying competitors. Clearly, he was in for a surprise – and to date, this set is the most exciting Sheik ditto I have ever seen.

94. Zain vs. Fiction at Genesis 6

As the Melee metagame has developed, it’s become both trendy and partially true to point toward Marth’s dominance over Fox in their head-to-head. Modern Melee players can also thank Zain for that, given his long established dominance in the matchup. But in the same way that he studied Ice Climbers to great success, Fiction came into his set against Zain with a plan that made the formidable Fox slayer look vulnerable. Would Fiction shine in the spotlight or would his efforts fall just short?

93. Lord vs. S2J at The Next Episode

Is there a character that newcomers associate with more Melee hype than Captain Falcon? Probably not; and it’s no surprise that this exhibition Falcon ditto is one of the list’s first inclusions. Just five years ago, as the Melee scene was amid a post-doc rebirth, the ending to this set was so viral that it reached the front page of Reddit.

92. HugS vs. Ka-Master at UCLA V

HugS is many things; a longtime Samus player, streamer, and wise personality over decades of Melee player. But in early 2008, right before Brawl had fully become the front of the Smash community, he had one job: defend SoCal from the Washington menace Ka-Master, who had destroyed everyone else he played at the same event. Coming from loser’s bracket and due to the strange set scoring system back then, HugS essentially had to carry SoCal on his back: win three straight games to win the tournament or lose what could have been the last big SoCal Melee regional.

91. Leffen vs. Chillin at Apex 2015

Make no mistake: the quality of Melee isn’t why this set made the list. The inclusion of Melee’s most infamous exhibition set of all time comes from its unprecedented circumstances. Whether it’s the $500 and inability to ever select the neutral Fox color again on the line, the two’s public jabs at each other over the course of months, Leffen’s preemptive boast of a “5-0” or the mere words of “I’m not lawful; make this pussy stop talking,” the spectacle surrounding this exhibition is extraordinary and transcends Melee, from its epic buildup as an intergenerational clash between Fox representatives to its immortal two word conclusion.