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.

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