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Anti-building cavalry unit. Resistant to most ranged attacks.
Age of Empires II description

The Armored Elephant is a cavalry unit in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition - Dynasties of India that is exclusive to the South Asian civilizations and takes the place of the Battering Ram line. As such, they are regional units.

All civilizations that have access to Armored Elephants can upgrade them to Siege Elephants. Despite being trained at the Siege Workshop, they are classified as cavalry units instead of siege units. As such, they are not affected by Siege Engineers (unlike Ballista Elephants) but benefit from Blacksmith upgrades, and can be converted by Monks without researching Redemption. However, Monks can convert them only at melee range like rams.

Civilization comparison[]

Much like other regional units, each civilization with access to the Armored Elephant has a unique set of bonuses and technologies, leading to the four civilizations' Armored Elephants each having distinct capabilities.

Note that Hindustani Armored Elephants are fully upgraded, yet do not benefit from any bonus or unique technology. As such, they are an ideal candidate to compare other civilizations' Armored Elephants to.

Note that all civilizations have equal armor for the Armored Elephants, 0/142 when Chain Barding Armor is researched.


The Bengali Armored Elephant is exceptionally durable, taking -25% bonus damage (in practice they take even less bonus damage since they have positive cavalry and elephant armor) and resisting conversion. It also attacks 20% faster after researching Paiks, which improves its offensive power, but not enough to make it the most effective against buildings.


Dravidian Armored Elephants are somewhat flawed, due to missing Bloodlines, Husbandry, and Plate Barding Armor. This makes their Armored Elephants slower and more fragile, but they benefit from both Dravidian unique technologies. First, Medical Corps lets them slowly regenerate hit points, helping them compensate for their lower hit points and armor. Second, Wootz Steel lets them bypass armor when attacking. This is not enough to let them defeat most enemy units in a cost-effective manner, but it does make them better equipped at defending themselves against enemy infantry and cavalry than other Armored Elephants.


Gurjara Armored Elephants are the best at demolishing buildings, due to dealing +50% bonus damage. They also cost less food once Kshatriyas has been researched, and can be created 20% faster due to the Gurjaras' team bonus. However, Gurjara Armored Elephants lack Blast Furnace, making them less well-equipped at defending themselves than other Armored Elephants. Gurjaras also get Heresy, but it is extremely situational for a Monk to convert an Armored Elephant since it must get into close range to perform a conversion, though Heresy could help against Missionaries.

Comparison among civilizations with all Castle Age upgrades[]

Civilization Civ icon bengalis.png Bengalis Civ Icon Dravidians.png Dravidians Civ Icon Gurjaras.png Gurjaras CivIcon-Hindustanis.png Hindustanis (generic)
Cost 130 food
95 gold
130 food
95 gold
98 food
95 gold
130 food
95 gold
HP 220 200 220 220
Attack bonus +75 vs Building
+25 vs Siege weapon
+75 vs Building
+25 vs Siege weapon
+113 vs Building
+38 vs Siege weapon*
+75 vs Building
+25 vs Siege weapon
Attack speed 2.5 3 3 3
Speed 0.66 0.6 0.66 0.66
Training time 36s 36s 28.8s 36s
Extras 25% less bonus damage
Resisting conversion
Regenerate HP HeresyDE.png Heresy -

Comparison to the Battering Ram and Capped Ram[]

In-game, the Armored and Siege Elephants are considered cavalry with attack bonus vs Buildings, not Siege units. This has many implications, which changes the way the unit is used.

Firstly, rams cost wood, while Armored Elephants cost food. This matters, since food is harder to mass. Next, rams can garrison archer and infantry units for their protection. Garrisoned infantry units increase the speed of rams by 0.05 tiles/s/unit, taking them from 0.5 tiles/s to 0.7 tiles/s (Battering Ram), capping their speed to that of a Monk without Fervor. Armored Elephants, on the other hand, are capped at 0.66 tiles/s. Infantry units also provide +10 attack vs buildings. Battering Rams and Capped Rams have +125 and +150 attack vs buildings, while Armored Elephants have +75 attack vs buildings. Rams are repaired by villagers, but Armored Elephants are healed by Monks. Apart from being free, healing by Monks can be done from a safety of 4 tiles away. It also has a convenience factor of not having to bring a Villager to the frontline and risk losing it. This mechanic is specially useful on Arena, where Monk-siege pushes are very common.

Rams have -3 melee armor, making them take extra damage from melee units, and are especially weak to low-melee attack units like Chu Ko Nu, Scorpions, Kipchaks, Fire Galleys, and Villagers. Siege Elephants have -2 melee armor, which increases by 2 or 3 by Cavalry Armor upgrades at the Blacksmith, thus negating these low-melee attack units as counters. Capped Rams have a 1.5 tile blast radius in which they attack every building and siege unit. Battering Rams and Armored Elephants do not have a blast radius.

Monks do not need Redemption to convert Siege Elephants, since they are cavalry. They do, however, need to be in the proximity of the Elephant unit. This may be dangerous, as Monks have no armor to resist the low melee attack of the Elephant. Still, it is unlikely for a Siege Elephant to kill a Monk with Sanctity before being converted, as they would require at least 6 hits to kill the Monk.

The difference in pierce armor only matters against Trebuchets. Armored Elephants take bonus damage from anti-cavalry and anti-elephant units, some of which is reduced. Armored Elephants do not benefit from Siege Engineers. This is a notable change, because Ballista Elephants do benefit from Siege Engineers. Armored Elephants attack every 3 seconds, while Rams attack every 5 seconds. This means that Armored Elephants have almost 66% better damage output than shown (before taking armor into consideration). Armored Elephants can also be garrisoned inside Castles, unlike rams or any other Siege Workshop unit.


Both units cost almost the same amount of total resources (225 for Armored Elephants vs 235 for Rams) and train in the exact same time. Armored Elephants without Bloodlines have the same hit points as Capped Rams; despite having slightly different counters, they share weaknesses in Mangudai, Huszars, Eagles, Mangonels, heavy cavalry, and heavy infantry. Despite being usable against regular units, Armored Elephants prioritize attacking buildings, just like rams; Armored Elephants do not have any blast radius, just like Battering Rams.

Comparison with Battering Ram and Capped Ram in the Castle Age[]

Units Battering ram aoe2DE.png Battering Ram Minimal AoE2DE Armored Elephant icon.png Armored Elephant CivIcon-Cumans.png Cumans' Capped ram aoe2DE.png Capped Ram
Cost 160 wood
75 gold
130 food
95 gold
160 wood
75 gold
HP 175 200 200
Melee Attack 2 4+2 3
Rate of Fire 5 3 5
Armor -3/180 -2+2/140+2 -3/190
Attack bonus +125 vs Building
+40 vs Siege weapon
+75 vs Building
+25 vs Siege weapon
+150 vs Building
+50 vs Siege weapon
Blast Radius none* none 1.5 tiles with 100% effect against buildings and siege weapons

none against units

Speed 0.5 0.6 0.5
Training time 36s 36s 36s
Armor Classes Siege weapon
Cavalry (+7)
War elephant (+17)
Siege weapon
Siege weapon
Ram (+1)

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Buildings, Archers, Trebuchets
Weak vs. Infantry, Flaming Camels, cavalry, Mangudai, Mangonels, Monks
Hit points BloodlinesDE.png Bloodlines (+20)
Attack Forging aoe2de.png Forging (+1)
IronCastingDE.png Iron Casting (+1)
BlastFurnaceDE.png Blast Furnace (+2)
UniqueTechImperial-DE.png Wootz Steel (attack ignores armor, Dravidians only)
Firing rate UniqueTechCastle-DE.png Paiks (+20%, Bengalis only)
Armor ScaleBardingArmorDE.png Scale Barding Armor (+1/+1)
ChainBardingDE.png Chain Barding Armor (+1/+1)
PlateBardingArmorDE.png Plate Barding Armor (+1/+2)
Speed HusbandryDE.png Husbandry (+10%)
Conversion defense FaithDE.png Faith
HeresyDE.png Heresy (Gurjaras only)
Train cost UniqueTechCastle-DE.png Kshatriyas (-25% food, Gurjaras only)
Other UniqueTechCastle-DE.png Medical Corps (regenerate 20 HP per minute, Dravidians only)
Upgrades Aoe2de siege elephant upgrade.png Siege Elephant

Civilization bonuses[]

  • Bengalis: Armored Elephants take -25% bonus damage and are more resistant to conversion.
  • Gurjaras: Armored Elephants deal +50% bonus damage.

Team bonuses[]

  • A team containing Celts: Armored Elephants are created and upgraded 20% faster.
  • A team containing Gurjaras: Armored Elephants are created 25% faster.
  • A team containing Lithuanians: Researching Faith and Heresy is 20% faster.
  • A team containing Teutons: Armored Elephants are more resistant to conversion.


Pre-gunpowder siege weapons were uncommon in ancient India, and battering rams were possibly never used at all. Instead, cities and forts were taken by assault by employing elephants that had been taught to batter walls and gates. This training, called nagarayanam, is mentioned in the Arthashastra treatise of governance and statecraft. The Mahabharata also calls the elephants purabhettarah ("town-breakers") for the same reason.[1]


  • Armored Elephant and its upgraded counterpart are the only Siege Workshop units that cost Food and cannot be repaired by Villagers.
  • Armored Elephants are the only trainable elephant unit whose upgrade cost doesn't need Gold.



v  d  e
Units in Age of Empires II
AoE2-DLCicon-0.png The Age of Kings
Economic /
Monk · Villager · Trade Cart · Trade Cog · Fishing Ship · Transport Ship
InfantryMilitia · Man-at-Arms · Long Swordsman · Two-Handed Swordsman · Champion
Spearman · Pikeman
ArcherArcher · Crossbowman · Arbalester
Skirmisher · Elite Skirmisher
Hand Cannoneer
Cavalry Archer · Heavy Cavalry Archer
CavalryScout Cavalry · Light Cavalry
Knight · Cavalier · Paladin
Camel Rider · Heavy Camel Rider
SiegeBattering Ram · Capped Ram · Siege Ram
Mangonel · Onager · Siege Onager
Scorpion · Heavy Scorpion
Bombard Cannon
ShipGalley · War Galley · Galleon
Fire Ship · Fast Fire Ship
Demolition Ship · Heavy Demolition Ship
Cannon Galleon · Elite Cannon Galleon
UniqueLongbowman · Cataphract · Woad Raider · Chu Ko Nu · Throwing Axeman · Huskarl · Samurai · War Elephant · Mameluke · Teutonic Knight · Janissary · Berserk · Mangudai  · Longboat
AoE2-DLCicon-1.png The Conquerors
InfantryEagle Warrior · Elite Eagle Warrior
UniqueWar Wagon · Turtle Ship · Jaguar Warrior · Tarkan · Missionary · Conquistador · Plumed Archer
AoE2-DLCicon-2.png The Forgotten
InfantryEagle Scout
UniqueImperial Camel Rider · Slinger · Genoese Crossbowman · Condottiero · Elephant Archer · Kamayuk · Magyar Huszar · Boyar
AoE2-DLCicon-3.png The African Kingdoms
SiegeSiege Tower
ShipFire Galley
Demolition Raft
UniqueCamel Archer · Genitour · Gbeto · Shotel Warrior  · Caravel  · Organ Gun
AoE2-DLCicon-4.png Rise of the Rajas
CavalryBattle Elephant · Elite Battle Elephant
UniqueImperial Skirmisher · Arambai · Ballista Elephant · Karambit Warrior · Rattan Archer
AoE2-DLCicon-5.png The Last Khans (Definitive Edition)
CavalrySteppe Lancer · Elite Steppe Lancer
Xolotl Warrior
UniqueKonnik · Kipchak · Leitis · Keshik · Flaming Camel
AoE2Icon-LordsWest.png Lords of the West
UniqueCoustillier · Flemish Militia · Serjeant
Dawn of the Dukes icon.png Dawn of the Dukes
CavalryWinged Hussar
UniqueHussite Wagon · Houfnice · Obuch
AoE2Icon-DynastiesIndia.png Dynasties of India
CavalryArmored Elephant · Siege Elephant
UniqueRatha · Urumi Swordsman · Thirisadai · Chakram Thrower · Shrivamsha Rider · Camel Scout · Ghulam