whether right or wrong mentality, this is how I approach Gief in GENERA, but this applies to the Ultra as well.
Gief does immense damage and has lots of fun mix-ups with his throw game. Because of that, people do their best to prevent being thrown. So in essence, Gief’s throws are not only great for dmg, but they function as mind-fuckery, ultiamtly scaring the competition into a pattern or position that is favorable for you. Gief’s throws while thye don’t control space the same, have a very similar mental affect as fireball/sonic boom traps, where the person is so worried about one thing that they are lead to get hurt by something completley different. Gief’s ultra is awesome, and I’ll def use it when I can, but the fear of having it, scares people into a position that allows you to get more damage out of them.
In other words, yes you want to know how to land the ultra, but performing the ultra isn’t the ‘be all end all’, its part of what sets up his poke game and mixup game…you get to watch the person ‘squirm’ in your hands after a knockdown as they don/t know what your going to do.
In terms of actually landing the ultra, the only time I do it is really a reversal/counter. I can tick into it, but a large portion of the comp I fight against off and online are familiar with most ticks at this point so I’ll catch a DP->Ultra tryign to tick. So just scare them into doing a move that gets you enough time to counter with the utra (like say ill advisable fireball during poke game)