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Steelsplitter is a versatile unit that can be used either to build pressure or defend with. Steelsplitter is less efficient than other basic set units at both of those tasks though: it costs 1 more than a Wall and doesn't have Prompt, and 2 more than a Tarsier for the same attack. As a consequence it is usually incorrect to plan on having Steelsplitters as your main attackers.
The first player to build a Blastforge in the early game will often have the opportunity build a Steelsplitter to put early pressure, forcing their opponent to respond with a prompt defender to avoid losing an Engineer. Here is an example early game illustrating this:
- Player 1: DD, Player 2:DD
- DD, DDC
- DDB, DDB
- DDS, DDW
Buying a Steelsplitter in this context is justified due to its versatility: it puts immediate pressure, and it will be able to help in defense if your opponent suddenly threatens a lot of damage (through Antima Comet for example), or if you just want to buy a big blue unit after it such as Omega Splitter and don't have time for a Wall first. Again, later in the game, buying Steelsplitter simply for additional pressure is not the most efficient, but if the choice is between that and wasting blue, it is probably best.