S2 Hisako was stronger defensively than this version due to the strength of low counter.
S3 Hisako is stronger offensively due to the faster wrath refill, adjusted air-ORZ trajectories, shadow air-ORZ, quicker teleport and teleport cancel, and flipout capabilities.
You can kind of take your pick on which version you prefer, but I think S3 Hisako is more dangerous. S2 counter was pretty degenerate so she was a lot better defensively, but she’s got an insane array of resets and mixup potential in her current form. More importantly, a lot of her knockdown pressure now can be styled to completely nullify invincible reversals, while still managing to catch other escape options like backdashes and keep momentum if it gets blocked.
It’s not random. Light air-ORZ is -2, while medium and heavy versions are 0 on block. The S2 versions were plus (which is incredible when you think about it), but I think the adjusted trajectories makes them better in this season. They’re a lot more versatile on knockdown than they used to be, and because of the wrath change you’re a lot more likely to get the counter-hit recap than you were in S2. The less advantageous nature of them also provide a neat little tick throw opportunity, where Hisako now gets to punish people for trying to take their turn back after they block one of these.
While it can’t really be argued that possession is a better move now than when it beat throw-invincible moves, I don’t think this particular change has too much of an effect on her offense overall. Possession’s “special status” really only came into play in a couple of MU’s, and in general Hisako has good oki options on those characters anyway. It was nice to have, but it doesn’t really matter all that much IMO given her strength on knockdown in S3.