It seems to me like mounted units in Fates were basically king. The cross map mobility combined with the fact that they were usually good in combat anyway was just too much to pass up.
As far as knights were concerned, they basically were useless in Awakening because there was just never a need for a physical wall, and they got doubled by basically everything so their extra tankiness was pointless anyways. The sheer viability of dodge tanking as a strategy in Awakening, especially on units like heroes who would just sustain what hits they actually did take with Sol, pretty much totally invalidated the need for knights.
This is different in Fates. In Conquest one of your most godly units starts as a knight, and she weirdly enough actually has very good speed growths, to the point where if you promote her to great knight she’ll find herself doubling slow units and being fast enough to not get doubled by anything that’s not a ninja. I thought Benny was basically useless compared to Effie, because all he had was a bit more tankiness in exchange for being a worse combat unit in general.
Also, bow users in Fates are absolutely crazy. Bows do insane damage, and there are even versions of them that can attack adjacent units! It’s like they saw how little people cared about archers in awakening and just decided “what if bows had axe-tier damage but weren’t nearly as inaccurate!” In fact bows are so good that the bow users you do actually get in Conquest are hamstrung in pretty significant ways (in Niles’ case, having stupid low str and low skill, and in Shura’s case, an awkward recruit time as well as being a prepromote that’s not a royal family member), and I can only assume that’s because if they weren’t then it might be too much of an advantage.
Of course, I’m always gonna be a fan of swordmasters. I just like the high skill/high speed units too much.