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The effects of downfolding a Brillouin zone can open gaps and quench the kinetic energy by flattening bands. Quasiperiodic systems are extreme examples of this process, which leads to new phases and critical eigenstates. We analytically and numerically investigate these effects in a two-dimensional topological insulator with a quasiperiodic potential and discover a complex phase diagram. We study the nature of the resulting eigenstate quantum phase transitions; a quasiperiodic potential can make a trivial insulator topological and induce topological insulator-to-metal phase transitions through a unique universality class distinct from random systems. This wealth of critical behavior occurs concomitantly with the quenching of the kinetic energy, resulting in flat topological bands that could serve as a platform to realize the fractional quantum Hall effect without a magnetic field.

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Physical Review B