Innovative tooling steels, optimized geometries and thin film coatings are effective methods for improving performance characteristics like abrasive tool wear. Laser cladding is an additional technology with potential to solve both, tool wear and heat transfer problems for deep drawing, cutting, hydroforming and hot forming processes. This technology combines a base material with a highly process orientated coating. The work deals with the application of a functionally graded coating for hot stamping tools. Laser cladding of aluminum bronze on a mild steel substrate is performed and the thermal performance of this configuration is tested.