It's fine to add damsels to the tank first. Now, some are def. more territorial than others. I started my tank with damsels before adding a blue regal tang, green chromis, clown, etc. there was only one neon damsel that was an issue, and I added him almost last.
I've got blue devil Fiji, yellow tail, three stripe convict, azure all living just fine with my other non-damsel fish.
But remember each persons tank is a different experience. Just do your research on the fish you want vs. the fish that will eventually round out your tank.