When I have taught Talmud classes to some beginners, I try to give them an overview of the tractate prior to starting it. Usually, I locate the relevant laws / verses in the Torah. I think it's tough to delve into Masechet Sotah if someone has no clue as to what a Sotah is. (I'm not saying it can't be done; it's just a bit more difficult, I believe.)
Are there any "prerequisite" tractates- I.e. does it help to learn some other tractate first? E.g., does it help to learn Nedarim prior to learning Nazir / Arla before shevi'it, Shabbat before Eiruvin etc.?
Note that I am interested in even those tractates that have no Gemara. Although, if there is a difference with 2 tractates in terms of whether you study just mishnah vs. its gemarah, please indicate that.