I will try today to shed some light on an underappreciated card. I do not claim that is good by any means, but on a weak board, or with the right combos in place, it can actually be deadly.
Its ability is to gain additional copies of any non-victory card costing 4 or less bought while it is in play. This seems like a weak ability for a $4 copper, as most of the cards you want a lot of cost $5 (or are victory cards). It does require cards worth having a lot of in order to be worthwhile, however, there are more of them than you'd think.
Whenever I go talisman, I like to go talisman hard. The best way to amass talisman is usually with more talisman. I'd usually buy talisman 3-4 times, which usually gives 6+ to you in total. They are a means to an end at this point (as a deck full of talisman is pretty useless by itself)
The most obvious, but unfortunately not terribly good option with talisman is to amass spammable actions. Caravan being a prime example, it fits the cost requirement exactly, and you can never have too many of them. In most cases though, the amount that your talisman have diluted your deck washes any benefit you would get from the caravans.
So, its use is not obvious. So what is it good for?
There is always Silver. Interestingly enough, the ability to grab a ton of silver at once can be a fantastic boon on a weak board, especially one with alternate VP or junking. The Duke and especially Feodum benefit from the low-value/mass-treasure composition. You can even transition this into BM if you can line up your treasures well enough.
Another very interesting use for talisman is as fodder for trash-for-benefit cards. You can amass them easily, and once you have bought the engine components you need, you can trash them mercilessly, as they are not great cards to have in your deck for an end-game composition. Bishop and Salvager fit well into this, as they are only 4 cost. Apprentice is great as well, but unfortunately is too expensive without a bridge/highway/quarry to benefit directly from talisman's effect. They are similar to rats in how you would use them in this circumstance. You can also mine them directly into Banks, or take advantage of their price bracket with any form of remodeling.
My favourite thing to combo with talisman is in fact Highway. Like other spammable actions, it isn't the strongest combo with talisman on most boards, but it can be a stepping stone to other engine components or a megaturn with the right support.
- Weaker boards
- Alt-VP (Gardens, Duke, Bishop)
- Junkers/Slogs (for amassing silver)