When I started to play LOTR TCG (2002), I played with Legolas Greenleaf) and Arwen, Lady Undomiel as starting companions, also Haldir and the allies Elrond - Herald of Gil-Galad, the Brothers of haldir and galadriel and Celeborn. The Shadow was Sauron Orcs, despite the fact they were very pathetic in the first three sets, and it was fun.
After the coming of the two towers and the expansions, I played with a nice Ring-bound Rangers/Uruks Deck - Faramir Captain of Gondor and Mablung as starting lads, 2 Gondorian rangers, 1 Ithilien ranger and Damrod, rangers' Bows, Ancient Roads etc. - classic! Immagine a Dunland minion with a home site of 13!
Now I'm happy to have a deck with two Gil-Galads, Cirdan, Arwen Queen of Elves and Men, Greenleaf, Galadriel - R+, artifacts and events enough for a nearly unbeatable deck. The shadow cards are Sauron Besiegers and Trolls - LOTS of Trolls!
The new Evil cultures really su*k though, many of my friends have left the game because of the stupid new rules and the destruction of the old Shadow cultures, but I'll continue to play with my besiegers and I wish loads of luck to any of my opponents! Cheerz