I use Gabranth as assist for lightning but it always bugged me when I use Gabby's air hp attack which is Hatred.
but even when my opponent is clear for the it after a wall rush, he just stays there holding hatred... but other time he activates hatred right away... when does Gabranth hold hatred and when does he activate it right away?
To answer your question: not sure.
Generally you want want use use an assist's BRV attack in order to lead for you to attack with your own HP move. If Gabranth had Rupture in midair instead of Aero it would make him a prime assist for this, but that's not exactly the case.
Might just be best to switch to a diffent assist. If you are dependant on having your assist land your HP for you, try Kain in midair. Dragon's Fang always works off of a wallrush.
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Gabranth has only one thing going for him as an assist, which is Enrage, which is fairly long attack and can string combos almost as good as Jecht does. Problem is, only having a good Ground BRV for his Assist attacks doesn't cut it overall when battles often take place in the air. Even using someone like Garland to make use of Enrage for a possible Double/Triple Bardiche (haven't tested it personally) doesn't justify his viability with Aero (midair). Also, if you're looking for an assist with good HP attacks, Gabranth is far from a good choice imo.
Mains: Garland | Vaan | GabranthSpoiler: