novel duplex coating is presented on steel substrate by laser discrete quenching prior to chromium coating deposition. Due to the periodical changes in the mesostructures and properties of underlying substrate, the cracking and spalling behaviors of the duplex coating are expected to be different from that of conventional coating. A classic erosion experiment is selected to characterize the positive response of the duplex coating subjected to thermal loads. It is found that the surface cracking is partly restrained and the interface cracking is partly arrested. FEM modeling results show that a unique stress state is induced in the duplex coating with the tempering of the discrete pre-quenched regions due to thermal loading, which is believed to be the mechanism of controlling the damage modes.