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.