I’ve been using Blizzard almost exclusively in ranked play to help me be more attentive with my ground game and mixups.
Might sound like I’m stating the obvious but blizzard works really well in high mobility matchups to dissuade almost all attempts to escape.
Air tatsu corner escape is allegedly the reason gief got Blizzard and ironically it’s the one I find the most fiddly to punish, but that’s perhaps because it’s hard to react to. But it’s generally a rather useful ultra. Even if you aren’t going to use it in serious matches/tournaments/whatever I’d suggest rolling with U2 (unless it’s an obvious advantage to use U1 since your opponent can’t significantly threaten/evade you from the air) if only to help it make you work on your ground game more (no U1 to rely on for a big damage spike in a clutch situation) It?s good to generally mess with people?s cross-up pressure
Good things about U2 against some characters (the ones I generally pick it against, although for most shotos it may change I pick it against all them right now to force me to play smarter on the ground and not rely on UAB):
Vega- Dissuades wall-dive pressure when gief is cornered, wall-dive/wall-bounce escape when vega is cornered and when lit can be used to completely stop Vega using his super (which is much better in super than vanilla) If you expect a cheeky over-head it?ll also work against that quite hilariously. Not great against scarlet terror, but it will lose/trade to a few of gief?s aerials anyway so it?s not great.
Blanka- Mainly to help punish EX rainbow rolls and can dissuade cross-up hop shenanigans.
Gen- Mainly for stuffing over-head/cross-ups, dive kicks and his wall-dive escapes. It shuts down a lot of his more mobile options which is very much to your benefit.
Chun- a little bit odd for her, but if she tries to wall-jump to escape the corner that?s perhaps the easiest blizzard in the game. I like Blizzard in this matchup to dissuade her from using EX spinning bird kick on wakeup (more splash and knees ftw). I know WGE will debate it?s usefulness here because knees can stuff EX bird, but I like Blizzard for the massive damage output by comparison. Also useful if she tries a cross-up hop normal thingy (df + RH?)
Guy- Big floaty jumps, weird crossup. Guy wanting to land a big damage air throw mixup?I haven?t checked how well it works against his tatsus on wakeup, but if it can punish those then that?s another benefit.
T.Hawk ? I know headbutt beats dive and spire, but I like having blizzard to dissuade dive and crossup pressure because he?s not someone I really want to pressure me like that.
El Fuerte- Wall-dive escape makes baby jesus cry. Also good to dissuade pressure on wakeup. Forces fuerte to meaty you perfectly everytime and most don?t, but it?s mainly for wall-dive. U1 is still good I guess but he?s hard as hell to grab if he wants to be annoying and in my experience blizzard is great for making him hesitant to try air options and his variety of options is where his strength lies.
Seth?He has fuerte?s wall-dive and annoying aerials off of them. Again he?s hard to grab a hold of with U1 and it?s a nice.
Shotos ? Air tatsu escape is fiddly and hard to react to but it does work. Akuma also dislikes trying vortex/demon flip pressure even more now. Sadly it?s not great agains his air fireballs
I?m in 2 minds about U2 on:
Juri ? very bouncy but moves through the air quite fast and dives sometimes go straight underneath blizzard and it whiffs. Her ground zoning is annoying and a smart one will only really go into the air to punish/run and blizzard doesn?t work well in the situations she?s trying to run away from.
Ibuki- similar to Juri but slower in the air. She has good options to help her escape on the ground though. Feels like U2 would be the way to go but I currently tend to take U1 since it?s still excellent damage when you eventually land it. Feels like the less sensible option for some reason though.
Viper?Good to stop her cross-up burning kick pressure, but sadly there doesn?t seem to be much of a gap between seismo and a jump cancelled burning to get the blizzard out consistently.
Honda ? it does kill his wake-up game and some of his AA, but he can shrink his hit-box back with neutral j.fierce and blizzard totally misses most of the time. U2 does have a lot of benefit, but U1 seems to be good simply due to honda?s damage output and the reduced damage of gief?s combo pressure making his reversals more favourable for him to try.
Bison?good anti-crossup, not ideal to mess with head stomp/reverse but he has a big floaty jump and I like blizzard since it makes him less likely to EX stomp/reverse on his wakeup when I?m right next to him. This general idea allows for more head-butt pressure in situations where your opponent tended to have the advantage.
That?s just some random scribbling of my thoughts anyway. I feel Blizzard makes gief feel a lot more dominating in the corner, particularily against wall-divers where it forces them to play a ground game to escape and as a by-product makes gief a lot more threatening to them. They really want to jump but being able to threaten with blizzard means they generally just sit there and panic since their normal go to option for easy escape suddenly becomes the most risky of all of them. I also like being able to pressure with cross-ups and headbutt a lot more. Gief with Blizzard and Super stocked is arguably one of the most fun 50/50s in the game (for gief players anyway)