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.