Hi, everyone. I’m happy to present my Top 100 Melee Sets of All Time, with today’s focus on the sets ranked 80-71. 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.
80. Hungrybox vs. SFAT at Press Start
If any tournament in Melee history confirmed that the Era of Five Gods was all but over, it was Press Start, which featured no gods in winner’s side of its top eight. But it was this set, one that featured a god, that stood out as its most memorable moment. Though all five games are worth watching, it’s the last one, in which an explosive start from the NorCal hero is met by a ferocious comeback from a standing Hungrybox. To this day, the set’s penultimate moment, when SFAT rises from his chair to match his sweating, desperate opponent still gives me goosebumps.
79. Jiano vs. ChuDat at Pound 2
Jiano’s run to winner’s finals at Pound 2 came with a bit of bracket luck, but it still was among the least predictable performances in Melee history. His bout with the longtime regional antihero ChuDat is one of the craziest ever, with a four-stock from Chu to start the set and a huge three-stock comeback from Jiano in game four standing out as highlights. Be sure to check out the last game also.
78. Rishi vs. lloD at The Big House 8
Rishi, the Artist Formerly Known as Smash G0D, has more than his fair share of nail biter sets. lloD is among Melee’s most notable players over the last two years and is one of few Peach mains who can claim a right to individual recognition for character contributions separate of Armada. With the two’s status as rising Smash stars, brothers, former in-region rivals, and modern representatives of their characters, they have had several back-and-forth sets over the last few years. But it’s this one, which has a brilliant last-stock comeback in its final game, that will be especially remembered forever.
77. S2J vs. Mew2King at Shine 2017
The same way Darkrain was a character icon throughout the 2000s, S2J has been this decade’s most consistent Falcon player. For years, the prospect of defeating a Melee god eluded him, and S2J’s history of taking them close goes back many years. I will never forget what it felt like to watch this set live in a wild venue, and to join hundreds, if not thousands, of viewers jumping out of our seats when the Stadium combo happened.
76. Ken vs. Mango at Evo 2007
Jigglypuff had a few strong representatives but no one brought her to the forefront of the scene quite like Mango, who stunned the world at Evo with his underdog run. Following the shocking end of their winner’s set, when the two played again in loser’s bracket for a spot in grand finals, the result was far more convincing.
75. Mango vs. Shroomed at Royal Flush
The greatest trick the devil pulled wasn’t convincing people he didn’t exist – it was convincing nearly every Melee fan to sleep on The Kid. Already sent to loser’s by his chief rival, down 2-0 against Shroomed playing some of the best Melee of his life, and with his back to the wall, Mango woke up.
74. Mango vs. aMSa at Full Bloom 4
Following his breakout ninth place at Apex 2014 and followup fifth place at Apex 2015, aMSa still had his fair share of doubters. By 2018, however, he was more than established as among the next line of players to threaten the Big Six. At Full Bloom 4, one of the most promising large annual tourney series of the current Melee era, he and Mango had one of the best sets of the year, and a wild ending.
73. Abate vs. S2J at The Big House 5
Save for New York City and Hax, there’s no region that loves its signature representative as much as Pittsburgh loves Abate. Boosted by the Midwest home field advantage and hot off a tournament run in which he already beat Axe, Abate went the distance against the stoic and well-respected S2J. In a set filled with momentum shifts of both players dominating each other, its ending may be the most simultaneously exciting, stupid, anti-climatic, and hilarious moment in Melee history.
72. Zain vs. Leffen at Smash ’N’ Splash 3
Before the jokes about dashing back, downthrow downtilting spacies by the corner and pivoting after every move, Zain was a local legend and fan favorite that somehow defeated Plup in a best-of-three The Big House 6. But it was this set, in which the future Shine champion was already facing off against the fearsome godslayer, that he showed the world that he was here to stay in the national spotlight.
71. aMSa vs. Hungrybox at Smash Summit 6
There is no Yoshi main like aMSa in all of Melee history. For a Yoshi player to challenge the world’s most dominant smasher would have been unthinkable years ago. But aMSa denies the odds. This set is not one for the faint of heart, and it’s among the most grueling, suspenseful and exhausting, but the historical significance and payoff is more than worth a watch, especially when the set reaches its epic resolution.