|“||Stronger than Battle Elephant. Slow and heavy cavalry.||”|
|—Age of Empires II description|
The Elite Battle Elephant is a cavalry unit in Age of Empires II HD: Rise of the Rajas that can be trained at the Stable once the Imperial Age is reached. It is a slow yet very powerful and resilient heavy cavalry unit. Elite Battle Elephants deal trample damage.
Similar to Persian War Elephants, but on a lesser scale, Elite Battle Elephants are tough and durable. They move slowly and are vulnerable to units that deal damage at range. As cavalry units, they are also vulnerable to enemy Pikemen and Camel Riders. Mamelukes are particularly effective against them. Because they are big, move slowly and do not have a ranged attack, Scorpions (which also deal bonus damage) and Mangonels are also effective against them. They can be easily converted by enemy Monks, so they should be deployed with supporting units, preferably units with range. Further, Flaming Camels deal bonus damage for a total of 200 damage (before armor and blast distance are taken into account) against Elephant units, and are thus extremely lethal against packed groups of Elite Battle Elephants.
Each civilization that has access to Elite Battle Elephants has specialties that benefit them, making their use different:
Bengali Elite Battle Elephants take -25% bonus damage, are more resistant to conversion, attack 20% faster with Paiks, and get full upgrades from both Blacksmith and Stable. This makes the Bengali Elite Battle Elephants among the best, as they can stand up against units that normally deal high amount of bonus damage, such as Halberdiers and Kamayuks, and do great in melee fights and taking down buildings, especially in the late game.
Burmese Elite Battle Elephants have +1/+1 armor since Dynasties of India. Both Burmese unique technologies benefit their Elite Battle Elephants, too: Howdah gives them +1/+1 armor (for a total of +2/+2 armor in combination with their civilization bonus) and Manipur Cavalry gives +5 attack bonus against archers. Having access to all technologies from the Stable and the Blacksmith aids their fighting capabilities. Burmese Elite Battle Elephants are a strong option against archers. Most notably, a fully upgraded Arbalester only deals 1 damage per hit to a fully upgraded Burmese Elite Battle Elephant.
Khmer Elite Battle Elephants move faster, get +3 attack out of Tusk Swords, and get full upgrades from both Stable and Blacksmith. This probably makes the Khmer have the best Elite Battle Elephants, especially in the late game. In Rise of the Rajas, the Khmer lack both Heresy and Faith, leaving their Battle Elephants very prone to conversion; in the Definitive Edition, however, the Khmer have access to Faith.
The Malay Elite Battle Elephants come in kind of weak defensively, lacking Bloodlines and Chain Barding Armor, but they are 40% cheaper to make it up (only costing 72 food and 42 gold). In late game, the Malay Elite Battle Elephants are probably the weakest. Still, the Malay are the only civilization with access to Battle Elephants who have Heresy (unlike their Burmese, Khmer, and Vietnamese counterparts).
The Vietnamese Elite Battle Elephants are the most resilient of them all as they get another HP out of the Chatras technology. They also get full armor from the Blacksmith, as well as Bloodlines (and Husbandry in the Definitive Edition) from the Stable. That makes them perfect for the Vietnamese as they can act as meat shields to protect their excellent archers. The fact that they lack Blast Furnace (and Husbandry in Rise of the Rajas) do little harm in the Vietnamese's case.
Comparison in the Imperial Age
|Attack bonus||+7 vs Building
+7 vs Stone defense
|+7 vs Building
+7 vs Stone defense
|+7 vs Building
+7 vs Stone defense
|+7 vs Building
+7 vs Stone defense
|+7 vs Building|
+7 vs Stone defense
|Extras||-25% bonus damage
Resistant to conversion
|Unit strengths and weaknesses|
|Strong vs.||Melee units, buildings|
|Weak vs.||Pikemen, Kamayuks, Genoese Crossbowmen, Mamelukes, Cavalry Archers, Monks, War Elephants, Scorpions, Mangonels, Flaming Camels|
|Hit points|| Bloodlines (+20)|
Chatras ( , Vietnamese only)
|Attack|| Forging (+1)|
Iron Casting (+1)
Blast Furnace (+2)
Tusk Swords (+3, Khmer only)
Manipur Cavalry (+5 against archers, Burmese only)
|Firing rate||Paiks (+20%, Bengalis only)|
|Armor|| Scale Barding Armor (+1/+1)|
Chain Barding Armor (+1/+1)
Plate Barding Armor (+1/+2)
Howdah (+1/+1, Burmese only)
|Conversion defense|| Faith|
Heresy (Malay only)
|Creation speed||Conscription (+33%)|
- Bengalis: Elite Battle Elephants take -25% bonus damage and are more resistant to conversion.
- Burmese: Battle Elephants have +1/+1 armor and researching Faith is 50% cheaper.
- Khmer: Elite Battle Elephants are faster.
- Malay: Elite Battle Elephants are cheaper.
- Vietnamese: Conscription is free.
- A team containing Bulgarians: Researching cavalry armor and attack upgrades at the Blacksmith is faster.
- A team containing Gurjaras: Elite Battle Elephants are created 25% faster.
- A team containing Huns: Elite Battle Elephants are created 20% faster. Researching Bloodlines and Husbandry is 20% faster.
- A team containing Lithuanians: Researching Heresy and Faith is 20% faster.
- A team containing Teutons: Elite Battle Elephants are more resistant to conversion.
Rise of the Rajas
- Elite Battle Elephants have an attack of 16.
- Elite Battle Elephants train in 28 seconds.
- Elite Battle Elephants deal 50% trample damage.
- Elite Battle Elephants have 10 bonus damage against buildings.
- Initially, Elite Battle Elephants have a blast radius of 0.5. With patch 5.7, the radius is 0.4.
- Burmese: Initially, Howdah increases the armor of Elite Battle Elephants by +1/+2. With patch 5.7, the effect is lowered to +1/+1.
- Burmese: Initially, Manipur Cavalry gives Elite Battle Elephants +6 attack against buildings. With patch 5.3, the bonus is spread over the two building classes (building and standard building) equally.
- Khmer: Elite Battle Elephants are 15% faster.
- Malay: Initially, Elite Battle Elephants are 20% cheaper. With patch 5.3, the bonus is increased to 25%. With patch 5.7, the bonus is increased to 30%.
- Vietnamese: Initially, Chatras gives Elite Battle Elephants +30 HP. With patch 5.7, the bonus is increased to +50 HP.
- Elite Battle Elephants have an attack of 14.
- With update 34699, Elite Battle Elephants train in 24 seconds.
- With update 39284, Elite Battle Elephants deal 25% trample damage.
- With update 42848, Elite Battle Elephants have 7 bonus damage against buildings.
- Burmese: With update 37650, Manipur Cavalry gives Elite Battle Elephants +6 attack against standard buildings and no damage against buildings, so it does not get partially negated by Masonry.
- Khmer: With update 42848 Elite Battle Elephants are 10% faster.
- Vietnamese: Husbandry added to their technology tree.
Lords of the West
Dawn of the Dukes
- Burmese: With update 51737, Howdah is restored to its initial effect at +1/+2 armor. With update 56005, Manipur Cavalry gives Elite Battle Elephants +5 attack against archers.
- Vietnamese: With update 54480, Chatras gives Elite Battle Elephants +100 HP.
Dynasties of India
- With update 61321, Burmese Battle Elephants get +1/+1 armor as a civilization bonus, Howdah grants +1/+1 armor to Battle Elephants again, and Manipur Cavalry cost decreased to 400 food and 400 gold.
- The rider of the Elite Battle Elephant (and its standard counterpart) is wielding a ngao, a long polearm weapon meant to be used to attack ground troops below the elephant. While the rider is seen using it during the attack animation in conjunction with the elephant, it is purely cosmetic.
- Additionally, for the rider to be able to use the weapon, a second rider at the rear who acts as a dedicated mahout is required, as it is very hard to handle the animal while attacking at the same time. Even so, most of the war elephants in South East Asia utilized four riders; the front rider who wielding a kho ngao (a special variant of ngao with an additional hook to control the elephant in emergency cases) and giving the command to his rear counterpart, the rear rider/mahout who is mainly tasked with handling the animal, and two delicated troops on a howdah, wielding various kinds of polearms to defend the ride.
- Since update 54480, a fully upgraded Vietnamese Elite Battle Elephant has 420 HP, a value that is only beaten by the fully upgraded normal War Elephant (470 HP) and Elite War Elephant (620 HP), making it the unit with the second highest HP. Note that this is more than double the HP of a fully upgraded Paladin (180 HP). It can defeat the Burmese Elite Battle Elephant in 1 vs 1.
- A fully upgraded Khmer Elite Battle Elephant has 21 attack, making them the Stable unit with the highest attack, as well as tied with the Aztec Champion and the Elite Teutonic Knight for the third highest attack of all land units outside of siege and gunpowder units, only behind the Elite Leitis with 4 Relics collected and the Elite Shotel Warrior with 22 attack, and the Elite War Elephant with 24 attack.
- A fully upgraded Burmese Elite Battle Elephant has 9 pierce armor, making them the Stable unit with the highest pierce armor, as well as the melee cavalry with the highest one. Also, it is tied with the Elite Elephant Archer and the Tatar Elite Genitour for the highest one for any mounted unit, as well as with the Imperial Skirmisher, which has 9 pierce armor, for the third highest pierce armor in the game. This value is only beaten by the Elite Rattan Archer, the Elite Huskarl, the Incan Elite Eagle Warrior, the Lithuanian Elite Skirmisher with 10 pierce armor, and the Lithuanian Imperial Skirmisher with 11 pierce armor.
- Elite Battle Elephants are the most nerfed unit, as their upgrade price and time, attacks, trample damage, and bonus against buildings have all been weakened, but with only train time reduced, mostly because they can turn the tide of team games in the late game and be very hard to counter, especially the Khmer one. Because of this, the Elite Battle Elephants from other civilizations suffered considerably from these changes, making them not as worthy to use. Due to this, all were buffed specifically to be better in combat in later updates (with the Burmese one getting back the former effect from the Howdah technology, the Malay Battle Elephant discount being bigger in the Imperial Age, and the Vietnamese Castle Age unique technology, Chatras, providing twice the hit points as before).
- The fully upgraded Malay and Vietnamese Elite Battle Elephants lose to fully upgraded Elite Boyars in 1 vs 1 combat (since update 50292).