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It’s a big waste of time IMO. You might want to test modules/components in HTML then translate that feature into WordPress, but if your ultimate tool is WordPress then start there.

You can still technically build just HTML within WordPress. All you really need is index.php and style.css files to get going with building theme. Then as your site grows in complexity and you want to customize theme, start dividing things into templates: header.php, footer.php, sidebar.php, page.php, single.php… etc. Once you have index.php completed this gives you the base to copy from and adjust.

Hope that helps. -Alen