Lithium (Li) metal anode holds great promises for the next-generation Li battery systems. Nevertheless, its dendritic growth, unstable SEI formation and poor cyclability severely impede the practical applications. Behind the above-mentioned problems, there are in fact more essential issues in play, and the infinite relative volume change of the “hostless” Li at cycling is a critical one that has been almost overlooked for decades. In this talk, I will first share our new findings and understandings of Li metal failure induced by the infinite volume change, followed by our materials design methodologies and several demonstrations of stable “hosts” for metallic Li to minimize the volume change issue. The main body of the talk will be our most recent advancements in Li metal anode by combining minimal volume change and conformal surface modification/protection. We will show that the both aspects of materials engineering are important and indispensable to the overall superior Li metal cycling stability. The talk will shed light on the integration of different aspects of materials development efforts into a single electrode towards viable Li metal technology, and also deliver more general insight to guide the future design of high-performance Li metal anode.