This really starts with mic placement. Even though HPF and LPF are kind of eq they are what I go to first and where I spend my time. This puts the energy og the instrument in the place of my choosing.
Another general rule is if you like the sound of something but it needs eq use a multiband compressor in the areas that need to be tamed.
I will run a source through a mic pre while mixing to take on its characteristic.
Adding distortion through amp sims and other devices t be able to hear something without turning it up. For example if I need to hear a kick more but it will be odd to turn up the volume will add distortion. If a bass riff needs to stick out I'll automate distortion onto the riff.