Super Nebulous 4 is set to be an important tournament in 2016. The New York City regional is stacked with talent in-state, out-of-region and even from another country. This is a chance for Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma to solidify his position as the best player in America, Aaron “Professor Pro” Thomas will be fighting to show the potential of European smash and, of course, the long-awaited return of Aziz Al-Yami aka Hax F. Money.

However, this is bigger than any individual storyline. This tournament has the possibility of becoming one of the most influential tournaments in melee history.

This will be the first big tournament to feature ‘frozen’ Pokemon Stadium.

No windmill.

No tree combos.

No transformations.


It is no secret that melee players hate change. It’s the main reason why we play the same game even though it’s been out for fourteen years.

The standard melee ruleset has been set in stone since it was published by the melee backroom nearly two years ago. Tournament organizers can create whatever ruleset they want, but they usually stick to the standardized version. Only minor changes such as the exclusion of Kongo Jungle 64 in doubles, no neutral starts and no switching controllers with your partner during doubles are added, but no game-changing rules.

The last big rule change was when Robin “Juggleguy” Harn banned wobbling from The Big House tournaments series. Even that rule changed with the most recent installment, The Big House 5, when he joined the rest of the community in making it legal again.

With new technology, created by players like Dan Salvato and achilles1515 we have new ways to practice and play the game. It allows more innovation with how tournaments are run, including the removal transformations from Pokemon Stadium.

TO’s and other leading community members drive changes to the rules so the game can thrive in a competitive environment for players and spectators alike.


This wasn’t a split-second decision. The TO’s for Super Nebs have used frozen pokemon stadium in local tournaments before with positive feedback from players. Director of eSports for Nebulous Gaming NYC Jesse “KillaHertz” Hertz said, “From a TO perspective, time spent during transformations is wasted time, as the optimal strategy is just to wait the transformation out.”

The decision was also impacted by a recent melee set, Hertz continued, “I think for a lot of people, watching Plup lose to Mango and Leffen on PS because of transformations really cemented that they were stupid and something the game would be better without.”

Impact of Pokemon Stadium

There is no denying the affect of the transformations with games played on Pokemon Stadium. Transformations have determined games, sets and tournaments.


There are certain techs that can ONLY be performed on the transformations of Pokemon Stadium.

Jigglypuff’s rollout increases in speed on the grass transformation. This was popularized during the “Angrybox” set at MVG Sandstorm where Hungrybox took not one, but two stocks off of William “Leffen” Hjelte.

As recently as this week, Masaya “aMSa” Chikamoto discovered new yoshi tech that only works on the rock transformation of Pokemon Stadium.

There is new tech yet to be discovered, or properly implemented, that can only be done on this stage.


Of the legal stages, Pokemon Stadium is easily the jankiest. Glitches have changed the momentum in games and even changed the outcome of major tournaments.

Most notably when Joseph “Mango” Marquez and Justin “Plup” McGrath played during top 8 of CEO 2015. The outcome of the tournament was changed because Mango was able to recover to the windmill during the water transformation, on what normally would have been an easy edge-guard for Plup.

Certain parts of Pokemon Stadium result in players clipping through the middle of the stage. Search the words “Fall through pokemon stadium” and you’ll find a number videos of players ‘discovering’ the mind-blowing glitch. Some even use it to their advantage

Is it the right move?

There is no right or wrong answer. If this tournament runs well, and top players promote the idea of Frozen Pokemon Stadium, more TO’s could adopt the ruleset and change the current meta.

Whether or not it is adopted into the universal ruleset, keep an eye out this weekend for some potential melee history.

Check out the stream this Saturday, March 26th, 2016, at



Name: Ludwig Ahgren
Twitter @ludwigahgren
YouTube: MrAndersLA
Ludwig is a journalism student at Arizona State University. He is originally from New Hampshire and moved to Arizona for school where he joined the melee community.