Metalicana, like other Dragons, appears as a large four-legged beast, however unlike other Dragons, Metalicana's body is covered in silver, iron scales. The scales themselves give Metalicana the impression of being covered in armor, as from his neck below to his sternum, as well as on his shoulders, forearms, knees, shins, claws and thighs, the scales are plated. In the areas between (underbelly, biceps and calves) the plating disappears and instead gives way to cross-hatched scales that resemble chain mail.
Metalicana's head is almost square in shape and his lower jaw has the appearance of being hinged. His eyes are beady and circular with no pupils and black sclera; around his eyes are small black markings which continue around the back of Metalicana's neck. Also unlike other Dragons, Metalicana's wings do not retract nor fold; instead they jut out and are also metallic, save for where the feathers or patagium would be, which are instead a black, downy substance that juts out like normal feathers would. Metalicana also has a tail that is plated like much of his body that fashions an intricately pointed tip. Also, running down his spine, Metalicana has spiked metal plates.
According to Gajeel, Metalicana is quite selfish. Nonetheless, despite this claim, he took Gajeel in, raising him like he was his own son, teaching him his signature Iron Dragon Slayer Magic. Gajeel himself seemed interested in Metalicana's whereabouts after his sudden disappearance, possibly implying a caring side. In person, Metalicana also comes off as being rather rude and straight to the point, as when he saw his foster son again for the first time in over fourteen years, he merely picked fun at him for his expression.
Over four hundred years ago, Metalicana's soul was extracted by Acnologia's Dragon Slayer Magic, which left him in a half-dead state.
Some time later, Metalicana raised a human child, Gajeel Redfox, and taught him how to read, write, and fight, as well as granting him the knowledge to use his exclusive Iron Dragon Slayer Magic. However, because his wounds were so severe and the Ethernano was not rich enough in the atmosphere of the current time period to allow Metalicana to heal, as part of a plan created between Igneel, Zeref and the Celestial Spirit Mage Anna Heartfilia, Metalicana hid his soul inside Gajeel's body via a secret art, which allowed him to create antibodies to prevent his son from turning into a Dragon. The act also served the double purpose of allowing Metalicana to travel forward in time and arrive in a year where the Ethernano concentration was dense enough for him to heal; in doing so, he hoped to be able to bide his time until he could kill Acnologia. In additional accordance with the plan, the other four Dragons who chose children hid inside theirs as well, and they passed through the Eclipse Gate to July 7, X777: the day when the Dragon Slayers had thought their parents had disappeared.
After Face's timer reaches zero, Metalicana reappears after over fourteen years of absence alongside the other Dragon Slayers' foster parents and participates in the destruction of the numerous Face bombs.
Metalicana later lands with the other three Dragons following Igneel's death at Acnologia's hands. Reunited with his foster son, Metalicana stares him down and tells Gajeel that the vile look in his eyes hasn't changed, which angers the young man. However, it is then revealed that Metalicana and the other Dragons have been in a half-dead state for years (courtesy of Acnologia when he was human), and now that they've exited the bodies of their children, the effort to prolong their lives is over as they can no longer re-enter their bodies; Metalicana himself then states that even Igneel was unable to defeat Acnologia, however he adds that this was because his strength was severely reduced due to being half-dead. He then pleads for the humans not to blemish Igneel's name and calls the fallen Dragon the greatest of their race, and one that loved humans more than any other. Before passing on to the next life, Metalicana flies with his brethren and tells Gajeel once more that the vile look in his eyes has never disappeared, but not before promising, like the other Dragons, to watch over and protect mankind.
Magic and Abilities
Dragon Soul Technique (魂竜の術 Konryū no Jutsu): Metalicana uses this ability to conceal his soul and Magic Power inside the body of his foster son Gajeel, which preserves his life force as well as provides antibodies for the Dragon Slayer to prevent the process of Dragonization. This ability was also used for Metalicana to be able to travel 400 years into the present time.
Flight: Being a Dragon, Metalicana possesses the ability to fly through the air using his wings.
Immense Strength: Metalicana is able to destroy numerous Face bombs by flying directly into them and shattering them into pieces. However, this strength is far less great than Metalicana's original, as he lost the majority of his power upon losing his soul to Acnologia many years ago.
Immense Durability: Likewise, Metalicana, due to his notable iron body, emerged unscathed from the repeated assaults on all the Face bombs.