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.