The most important tool in my shop can change daily, or remain the same for days or even months. Too, it can be extreme.
Earlier, my wheel barrel was pretty important, as I gleaned the wood trash pile from the house being built next door (they even stack and sort it for me (I asked permission, then cleaned up a bit when I was done). From there, my big bandsaw made quick work of taking off nailed and broken ends, so I could used the 2x's to build some gates.
Later, since my quart of veneer glue arrived, I thought I'd conduct and experiment using a never before used [CHEAP] vacuum bag and some OSB, to see if I could fake my way to making some pretty ugly OSB (again, from next door) look nice enough to use on an interior project. Just because I can (maybe). As such, that vacuum and bag is pretty important.
Days before, re-sawing now worm eaten ( LOT of character, after the holes are cleaned up, and no live worms) wood made the 17" pretty important.
On another day, the Foredom or the RAM become pretty valuable for stippling a walking stick, or carving it to do some inlay.
And on and on it goes.
NOW, if the question was, "[w]hat tools would you start with," I'd probably focus on the table saw, miter, a hand sander, . . .