It’s a double edged sword (this is coming from a Balrog player if that helps any). Armor cancels extend the startup of any attack by at least 1f (this matters more for hugo since he has infinite armor, so hypothetically more than one chance to successfully armor cancel). Taking into account that you can only armor cancel after ex.lariat or ex.meat squasher, the risk involved is really high since if your armor cancel is baited you eat maximum punish. By bait i mean the following: (1) empty jump throw, this will beat all armor cancel attempts or (2) safe jump but the meaty jump-in doesn’t connect (e.g. they hit the button really early). They could also jump a little later where ex.bb would work as a reversal but not as an armor cancel, but that takes more effort than necessary.
You can run the roulette with the armor cancel: empty jump throw loses to non-ex moonsault press and armor cancels beat meaty jump-ins. But ex.moonsault press can do the same thing for the majority of the cast (i’m sure there exists a few characters with jump-ins that can be out of range of his ex.moonsault press).
Blocking is a better option, or just ex.spd if you think it’s a safe jump, ex.meat squasher or ex.moonsault press do the same thing as an armor cancel with less inputs and fewer guesses.
IMO you should only be making offensive guesses (e.g. on your opponents wakeup) with Hugo. If you have to make defensive guesses, then you’re losing a different game. As Hugo I feel when you’re on the defense, you’re goal is to be able to block high, low and backdash instant overheads consistently. If your opponent is consistently pressuring you up close (in spd range), then they’ve already done the what’s the hardest for Hugo to do: get in. Meaty throws don’t work very well on grapplers because they have throw invincibility on wakeup (I don’t have any source for the information outside of the application itself). In my opinion you should ignore throws since you can train a grappler (you) to attempt to tech throws and open them up where otherwise they wouldn’t be vulnerable. If you’re going to throw tech on your wakeup, you should just lp/hp.moonsault press.
That aside, armor cancels are good on reads, like from neutral. For example, you have it in your head that this character is going to press a button at this moment, so you ex.lariat (they press the button) then armor cancel into ex.ultra throw. This is decent for cancels, like shotos (Akuma, Ken, Dan, Gouken, Sakura) who’s cr.mk xx hado isn’t a block string, you block the cr.mk, confirm the fireball, and then ex.lariat armor cancel into U1/ex.bb/ex.msp where it otherwise wouldn’t reach or work. Only issue is that Hugo doesn’t have an option other than lariat which will beat an fadc backdash and no FADC except lariat (compare with Balrog armor cancelling into U1/Super).