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.