I was under the impression that genies were the rulers of the Elemental Planes. But I've also read conflicting information about how "archomentals" are the rulers of the Elemental Planes.
Are they the same?
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Genies (Monster Manual, p. 141) are powerful elemental beings, and may rule significant domains. However, they are more like the lords of human lands who may rule only hundreds or thousands of people; the Monster Manual describes a genie who is satisfied to have merely two hundred human slaves bow before him.
Genies in turn respect the more powerful noble genies, but they are not the entire ruler of elemental planes.
Archomentals, on the other hand, are unique elemental princes, on the same level of power as archdevils or demon princes. They are considerably more powerful than the typical genie, and are of almost godlike status.
An example of an archomental mentioned in the Monster Manual is Ogrémoch, Prince of Elemental Earth, whose essence is powerful enough to animate gargoyles without really trying; all gargoyles in the world. I can think of no evil earth elemental being which is more powerful than Ogrémoch.
It wouldn't be out of the question for an exceptionally powerful genie to reach the rank of an archomental, but I'm unaware of any who have ever achieved this status.