Really? I thought the barrier only worked on ranged moves? (Not that it matters too much considering how much ending lag is on the move...)
Oh and GC ice barrier is a super armor breaker (BD cannot tackle through it). So I find when I'm camping to through his ice ball, ice nades, and homing attack. But if I feel like im being approached i'll short hop and use my ice barrier, has good range, breaks armor, and can be comboed after it hits (jump square or tether grab). I just like his options, mobility, and the factor of being a threat close/mid/long range(:
Not saying he's the best though.
I made a list the other day. Evil Cole is at the top I feel since he doesn't have any bad matchups really...Good Cole was just below him having maybe two or three bad ones. Then it was Drake, Ratchet, Fat Princess then Raiden.
I wouldn't say Raiden is top tier for 1vs1 as he DOES in fact have some bad matchups (the coles are his worst then the other bad ones are Ratchet, Big Daddy, Heihachi and Fat Princess and the rest are mostly even matchups)