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.

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